My first experience with hearing loss occurred in kindergarten. When the teacher asked the class to listen to and respond to questions through headphones, all I heard through them was garbled speech. The audiologist later told my parents that I could hear normally, but that I just needed to pay attention. From the age of six to the age of 27, I lived with a misdiagnosis of “can’t pay attention” instead of hearing loss. This misdiagnosis meant that teachers, friends, and family members thought I was daydreaming or tuning them out when, in fact, I couldn’t hear them clearly. Years later after my oldest child was born, I received the official diagnosis of sensorineural progressive hearing loss. This meant that I could not hear many speech sounds clearly, and the doctors determined I had probably lived with the hearing loss for years.
Because of growing up as the girl who “can’t pay attention”, I have such a heart for children who have hearing loss and I want to be an advocate for them. If you know a young child who has hearing loss, I am sure you feel the same way.
Here is how Lipreading Mom needs your help: “Project Language & Literacy”
As part of my graduate school work to become a special education teacher, I am researching the language and literacy development of children with hearing loss or deafness. I am also researching teaching methods and interventions to help preschool-age children with hearing loss/deafness develop strong communication skills.
I am looking for teachers or parents of children with hearing loss/deafness as well as adults who grew up with hearing loss/deafness to answer a few questions related to language and literacy. Here are some of my questions:
- Which communication method do you prefer: speech, sign language, Cued Speech, or speech and sign?
- What teaching strategies worked best for you or your child in developing language and literacy skills?
- If you had it to do all over again with you or your child growing up with hearing loss, what would you change?
Share your answers in the Comments below, or contact Lipreading Mom at firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject: Project Language & Literacy).