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Mom advocates for hearing loss by sharing artwork on Instagram

hearing loss artwork

This mother, Doris Ziegler, took to making art and posting it on Instagram to spread hearing loss awareness after finding out about her two-year-old, Hannes, son’s hearing loss.

If you are active in the deaf and hard of hearing community on Instagram, you may know this mother-son duo behind the incredible artwork we have seen on Doris’ Instagram. This is the inspiration behind her artwork.

First learning about Hannes’ hearing loss

After giving birth to Hannes, Doris sensed something wasn’t right with her son. It wasn’t until he had a hearing screening that they diagnosed his moderate hearing loss. Hannes received his first hearing aids at four months old.

Although he was fit with hearing aids, they weren’t properly fit due to the audiologist misreading his ABRs. He didn’t have his hearing aids properly fit until last summer, which caused him to fall behind on his speech and language. Doris knew she had to switch audiologists. Once she did Hannes was fit with Phonak Sky V hearing aids, which work fantastically. The moment Hannes heard their cats meowing for the first time, was when Doris knew Hannes’ hearing aids were helping him.

hearing loss artwork

Doris and Hannes communicate using a mixture of sign language and spoken language. She wants to use both communication methods to give him the freedom to choose what he likes best later on in life. Coincidentally, Doris discovered a passion for German sign language before her son was born.

The search for hearing loss support

Doris searched the internet for information on hearing loss and discovered the Hearing Like Me community. Feeling overwhelmed by the support and love from other parents and deaf people was a pivotal point in her decision to make sure Hannes gets the best support in life.

“Since young people tell their brave and heart-warming stories about hearing loss, the shock of hearing loss becomes less,” she says.

Like most parents of deaf children, Doris has her concerns for Hannes’ future, and the day he will ask why he is different from other children. Although there may be situations where he might feel excluded, she hopes that he will bravely manage these situations knowing that he can do everything, apart from hearing. 

“Hannes’ hearing loss and being a mum totally changed me. I am more vulnerable, more afraid of things that might happen, however, I have grown stronger to the same extent,” Doris explains.

“Hannes’ hearing loss and being a mum totally changed me. I am more vulnerable, more afraid of things that might happen, however, I have grown stronger to the same extent.”

Writing a children’s book about hearing loss

Doris browsed for children’s books about hearing loss, but couldn’t find anything. 

“Alright! I am going to write a book myself!” Doris thought to herself.

Read more: 6 hearing loss related books my deaf toddler loves

Fueled by lots of ideas, she began creating illustrations and posting them on Instagram. She hopes that they will help spread awareness about hearing loss and help reduce stigmas attached to hearing loss and hearing aids. 

“It’s a little bit like therapy for me. I wish that children will proudly wear their hearing aids and that they do not see their hearing loss as mere handicap or flaw,” she says.

She is also working on her book, which is almost finished. She even has her son’s approval! Doris’s experiences have brought her with advice to share with those affected by hearing loss.

“My advice to all, no matter whether you are affected or a relative of someone with hearing loss, be brave!” She says. “Ask questions. Share your stories, Be creative, Trust each other and never give up! You are not alone!”

“Ask questions. Share your stories, Be creative, Trust each other and never give up! You are not alone!”

See all of Doris’ amazing artwork on Instagram!

*Note: All quotes are translated from German.
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Ellie Parfitt
Ellie was born profoundly deaf, uses verbal communication, lipreads and wears Phonak hearing aids. She is currently learning British Sign Language. Ellie hasn’t let her disability stand in the way and embraces every new challenge. Her deafness didn't prevent her from achieving major accomplishments in her life, such as excelling in her education, working as a Marketing Executive for a Spa & Health Club, Events and Promotions Staff for a local newspaper as well as blogging for Hearing Like Me. She is passionate about deaf awareness, campaigning for equality and helping others through her personal blog as Deafie Blogger.

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