A Mother’s View (Caroline)
Jack's deafness was a result of pneumococcal meningitis. The initial diagnosis was serious to profound hearing loss and my first words were "will he ever be able to speak". My next thought is how must it feel for him to have had 7 months of sound and then silence.
The best advice from the assigned hearing support worker was to make sure we encouraged his hearing by playing lots of listening games and joining music classes so he will learn to listen. This practical advice seemed to do the trick, along with Jack’s innate sociable personality. He wore his hearing aids all day every day, learnt to speak at the normal milestones with some extra speech therapy help and excelled in the mainstream schooling system.
I think the other thing that helped is that we treated him like any other child; joining scouts, going to after school clubs, outdoor activities and learning to play instruments.
Never thinking your child won’t be able to do something – give it a go. Jack has a great “can do” attitude, which helped him in school to get great GCSE’s, A’Levels, grade 8 flute and grade 7 piano. He is currently studying for a Music Performance degree at the University of Chichester. He plays flute in the chamber orchestra, pops orchestra, baroque orchestra and numerous ensembles.
As parents we have had to spend extra time working through school work with him, making sure he understands it, but the rewards are enormous. I feel so proud of all that Jack has achieved.
“Will he ever be able to speak?”
He can do whatever he wants and his deafness definitely doesn’t define him.
Caroline, Jack’s mother