Doctors, fairy tales and oxytocin

You know what happens when your car is making a weird noise and you take it to the mechanic? Right. Nothing. Suddenly everything is smooth as silk and the noise has mysteriously gone away.

Lei has always been like this. No, she’s not a car, but when she was a baby she could have a high fever, or never make eye contact, or emit a horrible high-pitched shriek all day every day, but as soon as we were in the same room with a doctor, she was golden. Bright, alert, looking that doctor straight in the eye, as if to say, “I’m the healthiest, happiest, milestone-hittingest kid in the world, doc.”

And the doctors mostly thought I was extremely neurotic. It was great.

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Can’t you see? Inklings of life as a deaf visual thinker

The other day my husband was telling Lei to come to the dinner table and not sit back down at the computer. She had her CI processor on and it seemed to be working, so he figured she could hear him. But she walked steadily towards the computer as he repeated, “Lei, please don’t go to the computer. Lei! Please come to the table!”

No response, no change in trajectory.

Finally Hubs got a bit impatient and took Lei’s arm. “Hey! I’m talking to you! Why are you completely ignoring me?!” I heard the commotion from the kitchen and came in to see what was happening.

Lei was upset with him for grabbing her arm. “Why are you grabbing me? I didn’t do anything wrong! I was going to sit at the table as soon as I got a sheet of paper from the computer desk.”

For the millionth time in Lei’s life, I wanted to tear my hair out, wondering WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST SAY SO?

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William Shakespeare’s guide to communication options for your deaf child

William Shakespeare portrait

So you’ve discovered your infant or child doesn’t hear the way you do. Congratulations! You’re at the start of a journey that will take you places you have probably never been before. In the words of William Shakespeare,

We know what we are, but know not what we may be.

William Shakespeare portrait
The Bard’s advice: To thine own self be true.

One of the first big decisions you are probably faced with is how you will communicate with your child. You are probably getting a lot of advice from doctors, audiologists, speech therapists and other “experts.” But the real experts here are parents, and those are the people you must speak to about your options. Continue reading