I am writing to you today to express my dissatisfaction with the services that my twin daughters; born at 24 weeks gestational age, now 14 months corrected- have received at Erin Oak Kids (Halton), as a result of their permanent hearing loss. The initial wait time for further diagnostic testing as a result of a failed hospital hearing screen were completely unacceptable. My daughters were discharged home from the NICU in April of 2013 and we were not seen until July! This is by no means a reflection upon the audiologist’s hard work and dedication; it is based upon the sheer need. My husband and I would have happily paid to have the testing conducted privately, however, we were advised that only Mary Eros could conduct this specialized testing. Having one trained staff member to perform such a crucial service is preposterous! How can kids be effectively serviced given the extent of the wait times? Additionally, there is no coverage for Mary when she is on vacation. My other daughter, Alexis, was not cooperative during the sleep test so the extent of her hearing loss was unclear. As a result, we had to wait even longer for another appointment to re-test her. Knowing that she was experiencing some hearing loss, we were left to wait, without hearing aids. All the while, my daughter’s brain development was limited due to the lack of auditory input. Alexis did not receive hearing aids until October 2013.

We have been required to use Jeffrey Peden’s services; for new molds and device maintenance- extensively since the introduction of the hearing aid technology. I believe that he should be in a full time position and operate equally out of both the Mississauga and Burlington sites. I cannot tell you how much time, money, and mileage that I have put on my car as a result of taking my girls in for new molds, fixing problems that arise with the molds, and picking up the molds. Additionally, I believe that we have had insufficient education on how to properly use the technology, as a result of the staff’s busy schedules. I am subsequently doing a disservice to my children if I have not received appropriate education surrounding the use of the FM systems.

Maja had an appointment on Tuesday with Mary Eros for auditory testing. The results were unclear and Mary said that she would like to re-test Maja in one month; however, her schedule does not allow for this. Thus, we are left not knowing if my daughter’s hearing aids need to be amplified or whether she was simply uncooperative during the testing. Because of the lack of staff, my child’s care and development is being compromised. I can totally appreciate the wait as there are other children, but I must draw the line when my already premature daughter, with permanent hearing loss, is unable to receive the recommended follow-up simply due insufficient staffing. I am prepared to take this matter to my local MP and to the LHIN in order to advocate for additional resources to properly carry out the mandate of Erin Oak Kids.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Christine Kluczynski