There’s an old joke that goes…
Q: How do you eat an elephant?
A: One bite at a time!
Not a very funny joke, but it contains a kernel of truth. When you find out that your child is deaf and you decide to give your child the gift of listening and spoken language, the task can seem daunting. How do you take a child from hearing nothing to functioning as a listening, speaking member of the hearing world in time to be mainstreamed from preschool or kindergarten (or as early as possible) on with their hearing peers? It can be incredibly overwhelming when you stop to think about it.
But remember this: Other people have been there. Others have gone before you and succeeded. And at some point or another, everyone, EVERYONE, even the “superstars”, struggled. One of the best ways to pull yourself up and out when you hit a rough patch is to focus on small, measurable goals and daily progress — no matter how small! Learning to listen and talk doesn’t happen overnight! Break large tasks down into smaller, more manageable steps. For some ideas, consult milestones of typical speech and hearing, and start where your child performs currently (ignore ages! start where you are and work to close the gap!) and keep plugging along to make up for missing knowledge and skills.
See these resources for more information:
Above all, stay positive! Keep your eyes on the prize, and never lose faith. Remember, your attitude directly affects how your child views himself and their feelings, positive or negative, toward listening and spoken communication.