When Emma found out her child was born with microtia and atresia, she was quick to give her daughter full access to sound and language to help her thrive. After getting her the Cochlear™ Baha® 5 Sound Processor on a Softband, Rebekah has begun to develop language and has enjoyed her “superpower!” Emma then wrote a children’s book to help her daughter gain tools for self-advocacy with the use of her Baha Sound Processor:
“My name is Emma and I am a graphic designer and mama to a sweet 4-year-old girl. Rebekah has unilateral microtia-atresia, a condition where her left ear did not fully develop in utero. This resulted in her ear canal being closed, making her deaf in one ear.
We learned early in our journey that giving her full access to language was key to helping her thrive. When Rebekah was 8 months old, she received her Baha 5 Sound Processor, which she wears on a Softband. This helps give her the access to language we were looking for, especially in louder environments.
We have loved using the True Wireless™ Mini Microphone to help us get key sound directly to her like at the park or in the car. Once her language started developing, we started calling her Baha 5 Sound Processor a ‘superpower’, and it has had a huge impact on the excitement and self-image that she has around her device. When we turn it on, Rebekah proclaims proudly ‘Superpower ignite!’
Early on in our journey I had a lot of concerns and grieved what Rebekah’s hearing loss would cost her in life. Her hearing loss and her sound processor now feel like a part of our everyday life. I see her thriving linguistically and socially.
Writing a book to support Rebekah
When we started to prepare for the transition to preschool, I discovered a need for a well-designed children’s book to help children with microtia and hearing devices navigate the unique challenges they face. I wrote and designed a customized book to help her gain tools in self-advocacy for the use of her device and to feel empowered in the midst of her microtia.
We know that kids will inevitably have questions, and this resource gave the language to help navigate those conversations with confidence. After seeing the impact the book has had on her, I started to dream for more children to have access to the book. We launched a fundraiser campaign to cover costs of illustrations, copyright and printing costs. We were shocked when our goal was reached within the first 24 hours!
We were so overwhelmed with gratitude for the support and love poured out on us and feel grateful that we do not walk this road alone. As a result of the campaign, we were also able to give 30 books to children with microtia through a local children’s hospital, create several customized books (even one for a sweet boy in Australia!) and send a copy home to all of her peers in her preschool class (you can purchase the book here). I recently also created versions of the book that feature behind-the-ear hearing aids and cochlear implants. We are so thankful for Cochlear and all they have done to give our daughter access to sound!”
Was your child born with microtia and atresia? Learn about the Baha Sound Processor today.