Saturday, May 23, 2009

On the radar

A letter arrived yesterday from the state Department of Health and Human Services - the original helicopter parents. I knew that once the birth certificate and the PKU test results were filed it wouldn't be long before some nosy nanny would come knocking.

It took them only four months to discover that I'd had a baby and she's not had her newborn hearing screen. Apparently, newborn hearing screening has been mandated in North Carolina since 1999. The letter was signed by a woman whose title was data specialist which makes me think that they are more interested in mining data than whether my daughter can hear. Luckily, they provided me with a handy little chart that lists hearing and speech milestones. I've been asked to call them to talk about a hearing screening for my baby.

This afternoon, Fiona listened intently and smiled slightly as I hummed the tune and sang some of the words to the Dead's "Ripple." (good song for a baby, by the way. Lots of "la la" sounds.) Later, she bolted upright from trying to suck her toe as Jim came around with the vacuum. Um, yeah, I think she can hear. And since I didn't see the words "free" anywhere near the "suggestion" to get a hearing screen, I think we'll just use our common sense here.

Why should I be forced to worry about and pay for a test that will result in a diagnostic referral for a mere 2 percent of infants? Just add my child's hearing to the long list of personal facts that are none of the government's business.

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