You asked me if my friends understand what it’s like to be a sibling of someone well, I don’t think they understand what it’s like to be hard of hearing themselves. I don’t understand that and I don’t think anyone really understands that. The only way you can understand that is to go through it yourself.


Dean, 7, a sibling


It Really Stinks
You don’t want someone to have a hearing loss because it really stinks because sometimes they can’t hear you. Sometimes they can be funny and sometimes they can be really annoying. Don’t Say “Never Mind” Sometimes you say something three times and she doesn’t hear you so you say “Never mind.” She gets mad!

Gabriel, 7, a sibling


He Never Answers Me When I Call Him
Some of the worst things is that never answers me when I call him. That’s probably because he hates me and I hate him too. He’s really fun sometimes. When I want to play with my friends he always interrupts. That’s when he hears everything.

Terence, 8, a sibling


I am eight and soon I am going to be in second grade. My little sister is four. I like (being a big sister because) I’ve taught her different signs like the sign STOP, NO, YES, MILK, FOOD, and EAT


Rachel, 8, used ASL during the interview


The Good and Bad Things
It’s annoying to have to repeat myself. For good things, you get used to dealing with people that are hard of hearing and people that are different from you.

Bryce, 12, a sibling


At Dinner Time
When you’re talking at dinner or something and the whole family is having a conversation, she sometimes can’t keep up because she can’t hear. You have to stop and take time to explain to her what’s going on… Look at her, speak clearly, and say it louder maybe. If she can look at you that’s good.

Bryce, 12, a sibling


Standing Up for Her Just Like I Would for Anyone Else
She’s my little sister so some of the things she does I’m just not going to like. It gets annoying sometimes if you can’t hear me talking and I have to repeat myself a couple times. That can be annoying…Sometimes if she’s fighting with my brother I’ll stand up for her, but not that often. But that’s not because she has a hearing loss. It’s because he’s being a jerk!

Bryce, 12, a sibling


He’s practically the same. The only thing you might notice is his hearing aid and speech. That’s the only difference I see. Practically the same, he laughs about the same things as everyone else.


Thoraya, 14, a sibling


A Normal Experience
He got the implant when he was three and I was only 4, so I don’t think I understood much back then but I think I just grew up with it, seeing him having it all the time, it became a normal experience. I remember asking my mom once “Why doesn’t that other boy have a hearing aid?” My mom told me “your brother is deaf” and I thought to myself “oh, I forgot!” It just became a normal experience thing. It wasn’t like anything different, because I grew up with it.

Thoraya, 14, a sibling


You Shouldn’t Treat Them Differently
You shouldn’t treat them differently. Treat them as a brother or sister. Don’t treat them as someone incapable of doing something. He can do whatever he sets his mind to. Because I see that if you treat them differently, they might take it as an offense or something and you don’t want to do that. You just want to treat them as a person.

Thoraya, 14, a sibling


Traveling With My Brother
We travel a lot, and we go to different places. Sometimes I see outside of America people aren’t used to it. They’d be like looking at the person maybe thinking “Why is he wearing that? What is that? Why does he have that lump on his head?” So that kind of bothers me sometimes and I get frustrated.

Thoraya, 14, a sibling


I’ve never really thought of it before. I don’t know probably because I’ve gotten used to it. I’ve never really thought about it. I guess it’s just normal, it’s not like “My brother’s deaf, oh my God.” You’re just used to it.


Thoraya, 14, a sibling


My sister also has Hearing Loss
Some of the good things about having a sibling who is hard of hearing are that I am able to see what she is able to go through and realize that I can do it as well. My sister is such an accomplished person and for that I am lucky because it really shows me that there aren’t any barriers for people like me. At the same time that may be a bad thing because I have no excuses for not doing anything. Most importantly though, it’s a good thing that my sister is also hard of hearing because she knows what it’s like and I always know there is someone I trust that I can talk to if I’m ever having a hard time. I think that without my sister I would feel too much like the problem child with the disability. Even though my parents would never treat me like that I know that I would think that about myself if it were only me and my brother who does not have any hearing loss.

Ashley, 19 a sibling


We Both Have a Shared Understanding
There are times when she makes fun of me because I seem to have worse hearing than her and never listen. So, since she’s hearing impaired she never lets me get away with anything. But I think it’s unspoken that we understand each other, we understand the difficulties we similarly go through as we grow up.

Melanie, 23