Not Alone…

One thing that has always bothered me is the fact that AC doesn’t know any other kids that have hearing loss.  It may be something I worry about more than he does…  but, ever since he was diagnosed (when he was 4) until now (he’s 15) – he has always been the only kid who wears hearing aids that he/we know personally.   In school – he’s the only one in his classes dealing with the FM too.   I’ve read articles about social issues for HOH kids, and so have tried to find other kids in our area like AC.   I’ve posted about that on here before – but, it’s never really worked out.

People will frequently compare wearing hearing aids with wearing glasses – but, it really isn’t the same.  Wearing glasses will pretty much correct your vision, but wearing hearing aids never really brings hearing quality to a “normal” level.  The sound quality is much different, and there are all kinds of other factors that come into play (batteries, surrounding noises, etc).   Then, there’s the social differences.  LOTS of people wear glasses – but hearing aids? – not so much.   Wearing glasses doesn’t present the same types of  feelings of being different or the same unfortunate stigmas.

We live in an area with one of the largest Deaf populations around – but, AC doesn’t identify with  Deaf culture either.  He doesn’t use ASL.  He is learning it in school for his “foreign language”, but it is not how he communicates and he doesn’t consider himself as “Deaf”.  His family, friends, class-mates – are all hearing… and he fits in with us/them, but,  Continue reading

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When will my baby brother start wearing his hearing aids?

Brothers

Brothers

AC was just over 5 years old when I had my 2nd son.  He was so excited to be a big brother. He was also so happy the baby was a boy. He wanted a brother. And, what a great big brother he was/is. I was worried the big age difference might be a drawback to how much they would bond – but, that was a short-lived worry. AC loved being the big brother… and DC loved being the baby. They get along great… each enjoying their role.

But, there are some things that are hard to explain to a five year old. Shortly after we brought his little brother home, AC asked me one day, “So, when will DC start to wear his hearing aids?”. I realized that he just assumed that since he had started wearing his HA’s the year before – that his little brother would eventually do the the same.

I tried to explain to him that we had the baby’s ears tested, and that his baby brother didn’t seem to have the same needs as he did. That he might not ever need HA’s.  This didn’t make AC happy. He wanted his little brother to be just like him… and, I think, maybe this was one of the first times he felt that old “that’s not fair” feeling (more on that in this other post).

I wasn’t sure what to say. I tried to explain to him that everyone is different… that the world would be pretty boring if everyone was the same. etc.   I also pointed out that they had lots of things that were the same… like, they both had big blue eyes…  and me for a mom…  and how they would always be brothers…  and how lucky the baby was to have him for a big brother, etc.

The funny thing is – my younger son, DC, looks up to his big brother soooo much… that years later, when DC was about 4 yrs old and AC was then 9, DC INSISTED (for weeks) that he could not hear me.  He WANTED hearing aids too! At first, Continue reading

So… What’s YOUR Problem?!

jan2006-downAs I mentioned before, the year AC was in 3rd grade was a bit of a rough year for us. It was the first time he really ever “got in trouble” in school. He was basically being misunderstood, and was falsely accused of misbehaving, when he simply wasn’t hearing. 

Third grade was also the first time that AC really got a taste of being picked on or singled out by other kids because of his hearing aids… and of course he didn’t like it. Fortunately, the picking on was a few isolated cases… and, he always had lots of friends –  but, even a little “teasing/bullying” is hard to take.  Being the only kid you know who wears hearing aids makes you different, and being “different” when you’re a kid can be difficult.  The fact that this was also the time his teacher was suddenly on his case for “misbehaving” probably didn’t help.

On this particular afternoon back in third grade, AC came home mad.  He didn’t want to wear his hearing aids anymore. “I don’t NEED them!”, he said.

Of course, what he really wanted was NOT to be different. Not to Continue reading