#CalEars Nia's Auditory Verbal Therapy

Since June 2020, Nia has been doing Auditory Verbal Therapy or AVT for her hearing loss. It’s a way to help her listen since we don’t know what exactly she hears. We are doing Tele-AVT because of the pandemic. The therapist is on the other end teaching me what to do and coaching us. We started doing it once a week. I would have a meeting prior to therapy with the therapist to show me our therapy plan, what we will be doing, how we will be incorporating these into play and activities. It's tiring, it really is. It takes so much out of me but we do it. I do it, for her, for Nia. After a few months, we cut down  therapy to every other week. We might do it once a week again after cochlear implant surgery. Her therapy, honestly, cost an arm and a leg. :( But if it is helping my daughter listen, hear and understand us, I know it's worth it. We just try to work harder to be able to pay for the sessions.

She’s also been wearing her hearing aids pretty much every waking hour. It’s still a struggle to put it on at times, but we still do it because we know she needs it. Is her AVT working? I honestly can't say. I feel and see that there's progress and perhaps that's because of the things we do that we learned from therapy. We encourage and engage with her babbling. We try to let her listen to music and learn to move and groove as she hears the sounds. These are just some lessons we learned from her therapy, that hopefully will help her learn to listen. 

Accepting her disability is not an overnight thing. It’s a process, one that I’m still on. It broke me so much and I’m still not fully healed yet. But God has been with us in this journey. He has shown us that even with her disability, she’s our Nia. She’s the sweet, jolly, cheerful, smart girl. Her smile melts all of your problems and worries away. God has shown us that with modern technology, she hears us.

It’s still a long way from here. I know I’ll still have those pockets of moments that I will break down, cry and ask why. I know I will still wish that things were different. That this didn’t happen to us, to my child. But I find comfort in seeing her progress. I find comfort in seeing her respond when I call her. And most of all, I find comfort in God’s plan. I know He will provide. I trust He will not forsake us. 

Where are we we now? We are now looking at Cochlear Implant for her. Her Papa and I, both trying to work hard and save as much as we can for her upcoming surgery and ongoing therapy. I’ve been researching high and low where we can get financial assistance to help us out because CI is very expensive. Nevertheless, we have already started with the requirements for the surgery. I'm also starting to prepare documents we can use for financial aid

This poem was exactly what I needed to accept my daughter's condition.
I hope that if you are in the same boat as I, that this too will help you.

More than anything, I have to remind myself of Pride. Our baby has to work twice as hard to hear and listen to things that others take for granted.  It is a long road ahead but we are hopeful and keeping the faith that God will provide and be with us every step of the way.

For Nia's #calears journey, click here. And for continuous donations for Nia's therapy and other medical expenses, you may refer to her story here. Thank you so much.

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