Trust your instincts
Some of the stressors on a family when a child is first diagnosed with a hearing loss are all the information that is presented, new professionals to meet with potentially differing opinions, and decisions to be made that seem to affect the whole course of a child’s life. This can be particularly difficult since most of the information is completely new. The parents are trying to make good decisions, but in an area entirely out of their “comfort zone”. Gradually though, most parents tell us that they find the people they trust and create connections that resonate with their values and their goals for their child. They may visit a program where they feel comfortable and know that their child will grow and be happy. At that point, life feels more normal and they again feel like competent parents. The important point is that even in a new area, parents just need to know that their parental intuition will, as always, be an important asset.
Betsy Kammerer, Ph.D., Psychologist
After working in Audiology for years it is impossible not to be struck by certain universal truths, the first of which is that parents love their children. That love drives them to do things to help their children that they never thought they could do. Somehow parents find, deep within themselves, the strength to take that first baby step, then the next step, and the next, and pretty soon they have moved mountains to do what hey need to do so that their child can learn to communicate. Then they start serving as mentors and supporters to other parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing, while they still want guidance themselves. For a parent simply to listen or to share their story with another parent is a form of support. Parents help each other in concrete ways as well, sharing information about resources, tricks for finding bike helmets that fit with hearing aids, how to position the car seat so that your child can see your face, what toys are fun for children who don’t hear well, etc. Sometimes the parent to parent “matches” that a professional sets up aren’t as strong as the ones that happen accidentally at the supermarket or in the park.
Marilyn Neault, PhD, CCC A, Audiologist
I Continue Learning…
I think the greatest privilege that I’ve had over the years is to learn from parents and children. I constantly learn from parents and from families. What I learn informs my practice and helps me with other families. Though I now have years of accumulated experience, I continue to be open to learning more and admit that I have much to learn from those I have the privilege to serve.
Terrell Clark, Ph.D., Pediatric Psychologist