Learning sign language with your deaf or normal hearing baby
We started learning sign language as soon as we found out about Harry’s hearing loss.
Even though Harry has a cochlear implant and can hear our voices, we wanted him to know the basics of sign language for the future. Not only to better communicate with him, but also to be a part of the deaf community. He is still a deaf person after all, and he may very well have deaf friends who only use sign language to communicate.
Not only is sign language useful for children with hearing loss, but its also great for hearing children to learn as well. Even when they are very young, a baby’s motor skills and ability to make hand gestures are far more developed than their ability to speak, which makes it really very easy for them to learn the basics of sign language. You will be so shocked at how fast a little baby can start to copy different hand gestures, eventually realizing they can use their hands to tell you what they need! Imagine if your baby could tell you what they want via signing instead of screaming and wailing!
With help from our Teacher of the Deaf, Harry he had a whole range of signs he was using to communicate with us by the time he was around 9 months old.
Continue reading “Learning Sign Language with a Baby or Toddler”
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
I absolutely adore Christmas time and everything involved with it. Being in the UK, our traditions include decorating the front room with garlands and fairy lights, wearing tacky Christmas jumpers and munching on pigs in blankets!
This is Harry’s second Christmas, but this year is his first “hearing” one and I aim to make it special! It’s got me thinking about how to get Harry more interested and involved in the holidays, so it’s time to start some new traditions, and one of those is going to be decorating Harry’s cochlear implants! Continue reading “Holiday inspired Hearing Aids & Cochlear Implants”
As mentioned in my Finding out our Baby was Deaf post, Harry received his first set of Phonak hearing aids when he was just 7 weeks old. It was quite a scary thought that our little baby would have to wear equipment on his ears, and that we, as his parents, would have sole responsibility of managing them. Thankfully, our local Audiology team was fantastic. Daniel, our audiologist, made us feel completely at ease, and was so gentle while he took Harry’s first ear impressions for his molds.
When it came to choosing a color for his hearing aids I really wanted him to have a cute baby blue. My partner, Scott, was a little apprehensive about having a colored device, as he didn’t want them to stand out too much and for people to stare. But Harry had such a bald little head, and whatever he wore would have been on show! So, I managed to convince him that blue was the way forward. Continue reading “A lesson on baby’s first hearing aids”
We were still getting used to the fact we had a mini human who was awake most of the night when we found out that Harry was deaf. He was just 7 weeks old when he failed the Newborn Hearing Screening.
After a series of tests and a very intensive ABR he was confirmed as profoundly deaf with no threshold of hearing. The emotions hit us like a steam train and immediately we felt worried and scared for what the future would hold for our perfect baby boy. I remember that day so clearly; when my partner Scott and I held each other close and cried ourselves to sleep. We almost had to mourn what our idea of a perfect child was, and come around to the fact that our experience as first time parents was going to be a little different than what we had expected.
We spent a good few days feeling extremely upset and worried for our little chap. Our baby was the only deaf person we had ever met. It was a completely new thing to learn about. I started to panic when I left him alone to sleep, as I thought he would wake up and be scared because he couldn’t hear us. It took me a while to realize that actually Harry had never known any different, and he shouldn’t be scared because to him the world had always been silent.
It was as quick as the day after Harry’s diagnosis when we had a phone call from our local Teacher of the Deaf. The amount of information being fed to us was quite overwhelming, but comforting knowing a support system was already in place. She came over soon after to introduce herself, and we immediately felt confident that our son wasn’t going to be forgotten about or left behind. She explained that she would help us with his development from Day 1 until he finished his education, which filled us with hope and a lot more confidence than we had initially had.
Continue reading “Finding out our baby was Deaf”