When we walked into the Minute Man Arc building in Concord for an introduction to the Hearing Loss Baby Group and Toddler Playgroup, we were a family in crisis. Months earlier we had learned that our new baby, Bruce, had been born with significant hearing loss. At the same time we learned that our daughter, June (then two years old), also had hearing loss. Both kids would need hearing aids. We left the audiologists with a referral to EI and an appointment to get fitted with hearing aids. We were all set. Or so we thought.
The hearing aids did their job, but something seemed missing with our EI provider. By the time we turned out of catchment to Minute Man Arc, we were absolutely frustrated and starting to feel powerless and hopeless. Months of EI had gone by and no substantive services had been offered. We knew so little about hearing loss and even less about available services. We were desperate to receive guidance and advocacy to get the children what they needed in order reap the benefits of their new technology.
"We could not imagine how vital and life changing these programs would become for our whole family."
When we found the Minute Man Arc Hearing Loss Program, we could not imagine how vital and life changing these programs would become for our whole family. Because of the amazing support of the Decibels Foundation, Bruce was able to join the baby group and June began the toddler group. Our children began formal programs of learning how to listen and reproduce spoken language.
They got to spend time with other kids who had hearing aids and they got to have fun. At the parent group we learned about what services the children needed and how to access them. We continue to gain perspective as parents, moving away from despair and into hope as more experienced parents share insights, strategies and lots of laughs with us. And the Decibels Foundation has helped our family in another significant way: by making available the expertise and advocacy of Dr. Weiner as we navigated the IEP process for the first time.