I’ve been so busy lately, and AC has been doing so well, that it’s been easy to forget about updating this blog. Yet, every once in a while… something, or some ONE, reminds me of why I started this blog a few years back. This is what happened just recently when I received an email from a woman who had found this blog, and she could relate to much of it.
Her son is now in third grade, has mild/moderate hearing loss, has not had an IEP or 504 – and didn’t seem to need one.. until now. And, now the school is telling her he doesn’t qualify, because he isn’t failing anything… and, that his “problems” are “behavioral” and not “hearing loss related”. She found my website, read posts like “Mild Hearing Loss or ADD??“, “So… What’s YOUR Problem?!“, and “Acknowledging the needs of children with mild hearing loss…” – and she told me she instantly felt like I could understand what she was going through and she wanted to talk to me. We spoke on the phone, and emailed a few times.. and, she was right.
We have a bond. Within a mater of minutes we had a bond. Perhaps, it was there even before we talked… just from her reading this blog? The internet is amazing sometimes when you think about it… ?? And, likewise, so is the power of being a mother who wants to help their child, and finding another mother who can relate. I mean, here we are.. she and I live across the country from each other, and are from completely different cultures and backgrounds… however, the fact that our sons both have mild/moderate hearing loss sort of trumped any other differences, and we are now connected.
Talking to her, was like traveling back in time for me almost. Because her son is in 3rd grade now – which is where my son was 4 years ago and when he first started having problems in school. We had to jump through all kinds of hoops before we finally were able to get him on a 504 plan, and set up with an FM system at school. This is all she is trying to do now… and, she is hitting all the same walls I did back then.
We spoke on the phone for a long time, and I felt like I was in a time machine – transported back to when I was dealing with AC’s third grade teacher, who insisted he heard her just fine… and the school system, telling me that AC didn’t qualify for any school assistance or even basic considerations for his hearing loss.
I remembered how desperate I was to find AC help, and to just understand what was happening myself. I looked for other parents going through a similar situation and initially couldn’t find ANY. Not one. AC was the only kid in his school with hearing aids. I felt like the only Mom in the world who had a kid that had mild/moderate hearing loss and wore hearing aids. It was a terrible feeling.
At one point, my husband took AC to a movie, and he happened to notice a woman standing in line with a little girl who was a few years younger than AC – but, she was wearing hearing aids. My husband approached the woman, introduced himself, said he noticed her daughter wore hearing aids, and asked the woman if she would PLEASE talk to his wife (me). She gave him her card… and we did talk… and it did help. She pointed me in the right directions. I also was able to talk to another man who had a daughter with hearing loss, and he was another huge help. I think, just talking to someone who can relate was a huge relief in itself.
I still don’t really know any other parents in “real life” that I can get together with and have a child the same age/place as AC. I’ve always wished AC could meet other kids that wear hearing aids and he could be friends with in real life, but this is still just a wish. Still, I feel fortunate to have found the resources and discussion boards online.
Even all the information I found online initially seemed to pertain to Deaf children, or kids who had IEP’s already… or were somehow in completely different situations. Hearing loss is like that.. it can be so different for each person and situation. So many factors come in to play: level of hearing loss; type of hearing loss; progressive or not; ages; etc. Eventually, things started coming together for AC and us, but only after countless tests, phone calls, meetings, and emails.
When I thought about it, it all came back to me and I remembered it well. It wasn’t a fun position to be in. And the mother who contacted me… ?? She is still in that spot where I was four years ago. She still jumping through the hoops and feeling the frustration.
I’m frustrated along with her. It’s ridiculous what schools and systems put us and our children through. Really sad, actually. So much boils down to money and budgets… and people who want to act (or worse yet seriously believe) that they know what your child needs are when they don’t understand at all.
I want to be of more help to this mother. Yet, even with my personal experiences – I’m certainly no expert. Especially when it comes to systems in other states, etc. So, I tried to tell her what worked for me… I pointed her in the direction of certain resources and articles. and will continue to offer advice (for what it’s worth).. And, I hope I am helping in some small way.
If anyone out there knows of resources in California, or anywhere – websites, articles, forums – that would help people who find this site who are dealing with mild/moderate hearing loss – please let me know so I can add them to my blogroll.
So yes… I need to keep posting here… with the hope that this blog helps in some small way. Maybe even four years from now, some other parent who has a child in third grade and is going through a similar situation – might stumble across this site… and know that they aren’t alone… and that there are resources and people out there that can and will help.
PS – Happy (1 day early) Mother’s Day to all you Mothers out there who do their best to make sure your children get what they need. You are not alone!
Filed under: 504 Plan, Behavioral, child hearing loss, educational needs, FM, hearing aids, hearing loss, Help, mild hearing loss, moderate hearing loss, parenting, social issues, third grade | Tagged: Help |