Newborn Screening Family Stories: Amanda and Ashley's Story - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Newborn Screening Family Stories:
Amanda and Ashley's Story

Amanda and Ashley babies

When our twin girls were born in 2001, I knew I wanted to have their hearing tested as soon as possible. Thanks to the then volunteer newborn hearing screening program that became mandated in 2007, we knew within two days of their birth as to whether the girls passed or failed the newborn hearing screening test. Both of the girls failed the test. You see, hearing loss runs in my side of the family and naturally I wasn't screened at birth. But I managed to have what I thought was a normal life until I got tested later in life and received hearing aids at the age of 16. My life changed dramatically for the better! Like any parent, I wanted life to be easier for my girls than it was for me.

Since Amanda had the more severe to profound hearing loss in both ears, we had her diagnosed first at the age of 3 months and she got her hearing aids when she was 6 months old. Ashley was diagnosed with mild to moderate hearing loss in both ears and received her hearing aids at 10 months of age. In 2008, the girls started 1st grade and are doing remarkably well, managing to be at grade level and even exceeding in some areas.

Amanda and Ashley young girlsMy suggestion to all parents is: If your baby fails the newborn hearing screening at the hospital, PLEASE go to the follow-up appointment with an audiologist. Don't wait until your baby is not on schedule with communicating and realize they can't hear. Besides, the main purpose of the newborn hearing screening is to catch and treat all babies as early as possible so they can go on living normal lives!

Brenda, Lynn, Amanda & Ashley Hommerding