Newborn Screening Family Stories:
Austin's Story

Austin toddler Austin child

Austin was born one month early by emergency C-section. He was in the NICU for one week. When he was 5 days old, we were told he did not pass his hearing test. They told us that they would do the test one more time, just in case Austin had fluid in his ears due to the C-section. He failed the second hearing test and we were told, at that point, he was either deaf or hard of hearing.

Knowing this before we left the hospital helped us to get Austin the help he needed. He was referred for more extensive testing, and by one month old we knew he had a mild/moderate hearing loss. At 3 months old he was fitted for hearing aids and at 4 months old the Early Childhood Special Education team in our area started coming to our home to work with Austin and us.

Austin has had no speech problems and his hearing aids help him to hear almost at normal intervals. Since he was diagnosed at such an early age, he has grown into a "normal," healthy, and happy young boy.

We are very lucky that the hearing test was performed so early. We know that if the hearing test was not performed so early, we more than likely would not have been so lucky. Hearing testing is a must for newborns. We don't know what caused the hearing loss, but we do know that things can be easily helped with an early hearing screening on infants.

~Shelly Kowski