A deaf child in a hearing family
A deaf child in a hearing family
How to accept a cochlear implant by using colorful skins
Deafness. This diagnosis is like a sentence. It's hard to accept it. But now I am proud of my daughter's implants. And she likes them as well thanks to her colorful skins.
'Deafness.' – I heard and I couldn't understand.
'Your daughter is deaf.' – I heard and could not believe.
'How is it possible that Hela cannot hear a thing?' – I was trying to deny the diagnosis. I couldn't get over it. I felt shame.
What I did about my denial
As any mother, I wanted the best for my child, and I knew that being in denial about Hela's hearing impairment will not help her in any way. I knew that a child is born without prejudice and preconceptions. It only starts to develop it when interacting with their immediate environment. At first, it's the parents, then peers and teachers. The attitude and values that we instill in our child in the very first years of their life will to a great extent influence their personality, attitude towards life and convictions.Also about themselves.
I decided to seek professional help: go to a psychologist and change my attitude. I decided to take the upbringing of a deaf child in my own hands. The upbringing of a happy deaf child who is independent and full of love and passion for life.
If you are struggling to accept this diagnosis yourself, if you feel like you cannot get back on your feet, I strongly recommend seeking professional help. It will shorten your pain and will allow you to take care of the needs of your wonderful child much quicker and more efficiently. You can find a specialist by asking your friends for recommendations and finding someone through dedicated foundations.
How I found acceptance and pride
After a few therapy sessions, I realized that processors were going to be a part of Hela's life forever. I also understood how amazing it is that they had been invented. Because it is thanks to them that my child can hear, speak and share the same world with us. The world of the hearing. Not only did I start to feel acceptance, but also gratitude. For Hela is extremely lucky to be born into a world where she can use a cochlear implant. Thanks to it, she can function in this world just like her hearing sister.
Together with acceptance of Hela's deafness came a strong refusal to hide her speech processors. Whenever I heard: 'It's convenient that girls can hide it under their hair' I expressed my indignation and objection. For I hold a wholly different view on this. I believe that hiding hearing aids under one's hair or a hat only exacerbates their shame and lack of acceptance for it. I love Hela’s cochlear implants and I am proud of how she can function thanks to them!
I decided not to hide my daughter's speech processors. There even came a moment when I felt so much empowerment that I started to braid her hair and mount very visible processors on hear ears. I knew that my deaf daughter will be fully healthy only if she accepts her hearing aid. This is why I really wanted her to be proud of it as well.
How skins for audio processors helped
Decorative skins for audio processors helped a lot in the acceptance process. When Hela was 4 years old and a proud preschool student, she would pick patterns and colors for her t-coils and hearing aids herself. Every time she changed them she would boast about them to her classmates in the changing room, and her friends were really interested to see what she got this time. I even once overheard one girl saying to her mom that she’d like to have such aids with stickers on them :) My heart melted and I thought that this what it is all about – full acceptance of cochlear implants, hearing aids and audio processors.
So let me encourage you: do not try to hide them. Let's accept them and learn to love them! Because it is thanks to them that our children can grow and develop properly. So let's teach our children to wear them with joy! We live in the era of an unprecedented technological progress, in the world filled with gadgets. Audio processors and hearing aids are none other but cool gadgets as well! Cool because it is so helpful, but also additionally cool when it is full of colors. Various patterns and prints will let your child experience that ‘coolness’!
So if your child refuses to accept their cochlear implant, you can help. Together, you can choose a special skin for their audio processor or hearing aid. Just look how colorful they are. Or joyous and edgy. Super sweet, friendly or simply magical! You name it! They have the strength of a tiger or the superpowers of Batman! They can be super fluffy like a teddy bear or as delicious as a mega muffin. They can conjure up a unicorn or send signals like dolphins. The skins will forever change the audio processor / hearing aid of your child. And first and foremost, they will change their attitude towards it.
Because when your child learns to accept their cochlear implant, audio processor or hearing aids, they will simply be happier.
Yes, Hela is deaf.
But she's also happy. Energetic, bright, joyful. She has many passions. Many ideas and dreams. And I no longer worry about her being deaf. Because she CAN hear. She can hear it all thanks to her cochlear implants. And she likes that her processors and hearing aids can convey her ever-changing personality.
And now I am only preoccupied with how I can guide her in her development, education and her next passions. You can also be in my place. The place where implants, processors and aids become a natural part of your child's life. And where life, just life, is in the foreground.
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