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    Newborn Screening Unit
    Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (TEHDI)
    PO Box 149347, MC-1918
    Austin, Texas 78714-9347


    Fax: 512-776-7125
    Toll-free: 800-252-8023, ext. 7726

    tehdi@dshs.texas.gov


Meet Joseph

Baby Joseph with his mother Cheryl.My name is Cheryl Rodriquez and I am the parent of a deaf child whose hearing loss was detected shortly after birth. His name is Joseph and he is now nine months old.* I had a normal, healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery.

When the audiologist at Harris Methodist Fort Worth hospital told me Joseph did not pass the hearing screening, I was not concerned because there had not been a family history of hearing loss. However, after one more hearing screening and then more extensive diagnostic testing, Joseph's severe to profound hearing loss was confirmed.

He has been wearing two hearing aids for almost four months and we are finally seeing a response. He is vocalizing and turning around to see where the sound is coming from and he has blinked his eyes to loud noises.

Once Joseph's hearing loss was confirmed, we started getting lots of information on programs, support groups, and deaf education options. Some of the programs we are currently involved in are the Early Childhood Intervention program who sends an infant specialist to our house once a week and parent/infant training with the Regional Deaf Education program through the Birdville ISD. Additionally, a local daycare association helped me find a child care center that was experienced in caring for children with disabilities.

Joseph is very special to me. He is a very smart and alert baby. His motor skills are at his level and beyond. He is like any other child. The only difference is that he can't hear and his speech one day may not be as clear as most people. Because Joseph's hearing loss was identified early, he will get the chance to do the things that other kids can do. I don't know if that would have happened if he had not been screened right away.

* This story was originally published in May 2011.

Last updated March 1, 2017