You may have heard rumblings about some legislation popping up in various states around the US regarding language acquisition for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. What are these bills all about and how could they affect your family?
I hear (and see — on social media) this phrase all the time. Parents who choose amplification and listening and spoken language for their children are reminded by not-so-kind strangers, “She’ll always be deaf, you know…”
There are some families who are a joy to work with. They show up on time, their children always have their hearing technology on and working, they read to their children, never miss an appointment, and bring you treats for the holidays. There are others who make professionals want to pull their hair out. Chronically late or absent, hearing aids always in disrepair, unmotivated, nonparticipatory, it seems as if these parents just don’t want their children to succeed. Are these just “bad parents”? Would their children be better off spending less time with their parents and more time with us, the professionals, who can help them learn to listen and talk?
If a child with hearing loss is scoring at or above the level expected for her hearing peers, it’s time to celebrate (and graduate)! But why does this seemingly joyful milestone cause so much anxiety for parents and professionals? Why do children who are “doing well” still struggle sometimes, and what can be done about it?
Do you remember choosing teams in middle school gym class or for games of pickup basketball on the playground? With my short height, lack of coordination, and two left feet, I’ll admit, I was usually chosen last! Fortunately, as an adult, I’ve had the privilege to be chosen for a very different kind of team: the team that parents and families choose to help them achieve their goals for their child who is deaf or hard of hearing.
A panel of parents of children with hearing loss who listen and talk shared their experiences, tips, and wisdom. They had so many great quotes and insights, I’m just going to list them below. Their comments say far more than I ever could! Continue reading →