It was not easy for Eyad's mother when she found out her one-year-old son had a hearing problem. Yet it only motivated her more to provide him with the fullest support. It even pushed Eyad himself to achieve success in all aspects of life. Eyad's mother, Fatima Samir, tells us about the greatest challenges she has experienced in her journey with Eyad and how she overcame them.
How did you learn that Eyad had a hearing problem?
When Eyad was one year old, I noticed that he did not respond to auditory stimuli or sound at any volume. He also didn’t say any words, even simple words like Mum or Dad. Therefore, I decided to take Eyad for an audiogram on the recommendation of his paediatrician. We discovered that he was suffering from severe hearing loss.
How did you feel at that moment?
Of course I was shocked; this was totally unexpected. We haven’t had hearing problems in our family before and no one I knew had ever experienced them. It was the first time I had ever encountered hearing loss and what it means.
What were the challenges you faced at that time?
Communicating with Eyad was very difficult because he understood what was happening around him, but he was never able to express his various demands or needs. This had an adverse effect on him emotionally, and as a result he was very anxious and bad-tempered.
What did you do to try and solve this?
Eyad wore ordinary hearing aids for three months, and this was accompanied with constant follow-up checks. But unfortunately, they didn’t improve his hearing at all. So, we decided that Eyad should undergo cochlear implant surgery. We didn’t hesitate at all when it came to this decision.
How old was he when he got his cochlear implant?
He was one year and ten months old. By the time he was six, so within four years, we managed to bridge the gap between his chronological age and his auditory and linguistic age. You would not notice any difference between him and any other child in his age group from a linguistic perspective.
Why did you decide on a second cochlear implant for Eyad?
I decided to get Eyad bilaterally implanted, meaning a second implant in his other ear, because hearing with two ears is of course much better than hearing with only one. Humans have been created this way for a reason. Hearing with both ears extends the auditory field within the brain and enables Eyad to identify sound sources. This will improve his abilities and his concentration in life in general.
What message do you have for other parents of children with cochlear implants?
My message to the parents of children suffering from hearing loss just like Eyad is to love and support their children. I advise parents to provide children with the best linguistic education available, develop their social and life skills in general, as well as provide psychological support and maintain the sense of security within the family. It is also important that parents remain consistent in their efforts.
Nothing comes before love and support
It may be a shock for parents to discover their child is suffering from a hearing impairment. However, by providing love, support, and persistent efforts, it is a challenge that they can overcome. Eyad's mother realised this and she provided him with all the love he needed, and by taking action could offer him a life full of possibilities.