Most of my friends love when I sign. They say to me, “Tell me how you sign that.” They are always trying to learn sign language. I have a whole bunch of friends. Some are deaf, hard of hearing, and normal hearing friends. Some tease me a little bit too.
I tell my best friend to tell them
Sometimes kids ask, “Why do you have ear plugs in your ears?” Sometimes I’m tired of telling everyone so I tell my best friend to just tell them. She knows a lot about it because she’s my best friend.
I Can’t Hear Perfect, But…
I tell them it helps me hear and that I was born deaf. And I got a cochlear implant when I was three, and now I just got a second one after school was ending. I told them that it helps me hear. I can’t hear perfect.
They ask me questions like “How does it work?” (meaning my cochlear implant). I reply, “I attach it with this magnet.” One time I did a speech. I did it with my speech therapist. It was like telling them what all these parts are: “This is the coil,” “This is the cord,” “This is where the sound comes from”… All that stuff.
It Helps Me Hear
I tell them it’s something to help me hear and then they understand.
Elise, 8, referring to her cochlear implant
What Are Those Green Things in Your Ear?
“What are those green things on your ear?” I replied, “When I was born I was sick and my ears got hurt so I need to wear these to hear better.” Usually the kindergartners ask me that because anyone else in my grade already knows the answer.
Chris, 10, wears hearing aids
I Remind Them That We Are All the Same
We are all the same. We may have something different but we are the same. Do not judge anybody. Most people do not know that I have a cochlear implant. My sister or I would tell them that I have a hearing aid and I use it to hear. They would see me talking using sign language and then they would say, “I want to learn, tell me, tell me, tell me!” Then, I would teach them.