Our trip to Duke on Friday confirmed that Gwyneth does indeed have severe hearing loss in her right ear and mild to moderate hearing loss in her left ear. To be honest, the news that our daughter has hearing loss isn't phasing us much...what has been stressful and very tiring is the phone calls and doctors appointments, etc. trying to figure out what our next step should be Last week was very exhausting, but with a weekend of rest behind us, we're feeling much more prepared.
To answer a question that many people have been asking, Cochlear implants are not an option because her hearing loss is not severe enough. We're hoping to get her fitted for hearing aids as soon as possible.
Fortunately, we have been using sign language with Gwyneth for quite a while, so that will not be a challenge. She is already communicating well with using just a handful of signs. We're hoping, with hearing aids and continued speech therapy, that we'll begin to see/hear a dramatic improvement in her speech skills.
We have been spending a lot of time the past week working with her to figure out exactly what she can and can't hear. It appears that she can hear well enough to become familiar with certain words...she obviously understands much of what we are saying to her. But, it's likely that she is unable to hear certain consonants well, which explains why she has been having issues with speech.
We appreciate the encouragement we've received over the past week from so many in the deaf and hard of hearing community. And, we appreciate your continued prayer and support as we figure out how to best help Gwyneth.