By Richard Wentworth
In June of 2007 my son Henry had his hearing screened shortly after he was born. I remember the sinking feeling I felt when the screener told my wife and me that neither of Henry’s ears passed. We were told that the screen is not a perfect test, but that Henry should be seen by an audiologist. Weeks later at Henry’s audiology appointment, we learned that Henry had a hearing loss. It was difficult, both practically and emotionally, to put this into perspective. During this confusing time, we received a call from a parent outreach specialist at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program, to discuss Henry’s diagnosis and the intervention services that we could get for him. The outreach specialist helped us to identify and organize the next steps in our plan for Henry’s care. In addition, talking with another parent of a child with hearing loss helped us realize we weren’t the only ones going through this, and bolstered our confidence that we could be strong enough to give Henry a good start and a good life.