Sunday, September 26, 2010

Living with hearing loss: Lesley

Some of the blogs I most enjoy are written by deaf and hard of hearing people.  They give me a tiny window into what it might be like to have a hearing loss.  One of the blogs I like to visit is Cacophony to Symphony.  Lesley writes eloquently about her experiences.  She's in high school, living that future that I spend a good deal of time worrying about.

Lesley's Story

My name is Lesley, but I also go by the blogger name "PinkLAM" and I'm going to be a sophomore in high school this upcoming school year. I have a blog at cacophonytosymphony.blogspot.com.

I was diagnosed with moderately severe hearing loss when I was three and a half years old (this was my first hearing test, so there's no way of knowing when I began losing my hearing, or if I was just born with hearing loss).  I wore hearing aids and learned to do very well with my residual hearing through Auditory-Verbal Therapy.

When I reached my preteen years, my hearing loss progressed to severe-profound, and I chose to get my first cochlear implant, which was an amazing experience for me. I received my second implant less than two years later. I also use an FM system in the classroom (when it's functioning) and a captioning decoder for videos (when someone in the school is able to figure out how to get it to work), but my high school has made it difficult for me to get what I feel to be the proper tools without going to another school with more resources.

The greatest thing I've learned from my parents, especially my mom, is that I am capable of doing anything I set my mind to, as long as I advocate for any extra needs I may have with my hearing along the way. My mom taught me how to get the accommodations I need, and gave me the tremendous gift of being confident in my abilities and undeterred by my hearing loss. This applies to everything I've done- from taking up the violin, to learning French, to running for officer positions of clubs, my mom has always been cheering me along the way.

I believe that this is the best thing the parents of a child with hearing loss (or any other special needs) can do- encourage their kids to branch out, rather than hoping they don't go for it in fear of the activity being too hard to hear or communicate.



Thanks Lesley!  It's my goal to teach Julia she can do whatever she sets her mind to, you and your mom are an inspiration!

If you are deaf or hard of hearing and would like to be featured here at BTaC, or if you are a parent of a deaf or hard of hearing child, please send an email to bigteethclouds at gmail dot com to be interviewed.

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