Raising a deaf child has had its ups-and-downs, but for the better it has changed my life.
Here’s what I’ve learned, and what I’d like to share with you:
Having a deaf child that wears a equipment on his head means that people will inevitably look. They can’t help but double-take or even stare wondering what on earth his cochlear implants are. It’s something I completely accept, and I actually embrace it and use it as an opportunity to educate people and talk about deafness and hearing aids. Before having Harry, I wouldn’t ever talk so openly to strangers in the supermarket. If someone was staring at my family in public I would feel embarrassed, but Harry has given me a thick skin and a boost of bravery.
Read more: What you should know about my son’s cochlear implant
There was a period of time where I blamed myself for Harry’s hearing loss. I couldn’t help but wonder if it was something I did when I was pregnant that caused his ears not to work. We don’t know why Harry is deaf but it’s certainly nobody’s fault. There is nothing I can do to change it. I have accepted my son’s deafness and banished any guilt I previously had from my mind.
I really have absolutely no expectations from my son. I of course have aspirations for him and I encourage him to do his best, but I have removed all pressures from what I expect him to be able to do. Harry is intelligent, he talks well and he is acing every hearing test and speech therapy session. Still, I put no pressure on him to do so. I think it’s important as a parent of a deaf child to take each day and challenge as it comes. Accept that not everything will happen immediately or be perfect all at once.
I didn’t realize how much determination I had until I became a mum to a deaf child. I was absolutely adamant that I would get Harry communicating, whether it was by speech or sign language. I wanted him to hear decided to get Harry cochlear implants after hearing aids sadly weren’t powerful enough for him. I will never give up fighting for Harry and getting him everything he needs to thrive and have a fulfilling, happy life.
“If I could give a parent of a deaf child any advice it would be to believe in yourself.”
If I could give a parent of a deaf child any advice it would be to believe in yourself. Trust in your ability to learn how best to communicate with them. Embrace this new dimension to family life and accept that having a deaf child has is a change toyour life and brought you new skills and experiences for the better.
Are you a parent raising a deaf child? Please share your advice with us in the comments!