Friday, October 17, 2008

What would you do?

So, I need some advice. Even though I have been at this mother of hearing impaired/deaf children awhile now, last night I ran into something that I have not experienced before. While standing in line at the grocery store, a little girl(maybe 5-6 years old) was staring at Jared's hearing aids and was making comments to her grandmother about them. Jared did not noticed, but I did. Now what would you do? Would you explain to the child what those "things" are in his ears or not do anything at all?
Most of the time, people come right out and ask about Allison's implants. I guess it is because most people know more about hearing aids than implants.
I don't want Jared to feel that he is "not normal", but it is a fact of life, he is different and we are going to have to deal with stares and comments. I want to empower him while he is still young.


OCDAC said...

When I was a kid. People and even kids would stare at my hearing aids and the bra-like contraption I wore that was used to carry them.

Kids are curious.


Mom/Lois said...

Unfortunately, much as we would like to, we mothers cannot make these experiences go away. Jared will be able to put them in place over time. For now, I would speak to the other child in a kind, friendly manner like "you are wearing a very pretty dress (top, hair barrette, shoes, etc) today." That way, attention is diverted away from her curiosity about Jared and you have interacted in a calm way, thereby diffusing any direct effect of the comments on Jared. The grandmother probably was having difficulty knowing what to do and in this way, you have also helped her! Maybe I'm way off base, but this has worked for me with my kids in the past. Love you and keep up the great work you are doing every day! Hope you are well by now. Aunt Lois

kkohler said...

I am still very new at this, but I have found that kids don't mean any harm, at least at that age. I usually say, "Aren't those cool? They are called cochlear implants/hearing aids and they help her hear." It seems to satisfy kiddos and helps the adult not die of embarrassment! In the end it all depends on the situation and how you and your family feel. Good luck!

rouchi said...

I face it all the time.My daughter is 4.5 yrs and wears h aids to school.When questioned I am very matter of fact about it and tell them that she does not hear and so wears aids to hear.When they hear her talk they do not have problem understanding her anyway.A bit of correct info to other kids always makes them feel a bit odd initially but later are very caring about it.Also I feel by avoiding the topic and trying to protect your child's feelings only makes the child more aware and ashamed of his disability and he does feel he is different.So a matter of fact answers like how you would answer for a pair of spectacles would boost the confidence of the child .He would be able to handle the situation on his own when you are not around."Empower the kid" is my motto.