Sunday, September 28, 2008

Another article in TOI

Today being world's deaf day, Mrs.Alaka Hudlikar had arranged for facts about speech therapy and the various courses to be published in "Times of India".I really hope things improve in India and we have quality courses that would improve the situation.We cannot have correspondence courses for this.We need to teach the teachers better and they have to be able to have AVT training where the focus is on listening and then speaking.Questions should be raised when these teachers , who are trained for the deaf, are not able to produce children who are talking and not using sign language and lip reading.If these methods are being used , then why have hearing aids and cochlear implants and AVT courses.I hope this article is able raise questions and answers are sought by the experts and we can look forward to a better life for the 3 kids in 1000 who are born deaf.
Click on the link to see the page.

A long day

Today was a tough day between house chores, my son not keeping well and Prisha's tantrum.She loves to visit her grand parents and for me it is a good break.But she takes advantage as she gets what she wants ,then in front of them she tries to push her demands as she feels she would get away.They melt at her every word.So today when the tantrum started I put a foot down and walked away leaving her with them for good 6 hours.It was time to come back and I ignored her completely.She walked around like a little frightened mouse.After a while she started to look for ways to talk to me.That was it.I had serious talk with her and told her this wasn't working.The mom in you peeps in when you see the tearful face.I hid my smile and we made up.I did keep a straight face all evening and sure it worked.For the 1st time she played in the garden by herself for a good on and half hour.She really looked changed.
I realise how this affects her speech and learning behavior.When she is getting away with all that she wants, she carries this attitude to school and to the speech therapy class.She has to be coaxed to speak and acts like a princess.I have to keep levelling her down.Motherhood !its not easy.I need to pull my socks and start working on her.There are days when this feeling drags that I find it a chore to continuously be a teacher.I enjoy it though.She loves learning thanks to the stimulus she got through this speech therapy lessons from the time she was 1yr old.She tuned to anything new and exciting.Her aunt taught her to do addition.I wasn't so sure she would but no , she did do all correct.I too am learning with her how to teach kids.To think of it I never liked teaching.Well ,never say never.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A nice thought

I got this thought from a fellow blogger who is also a parent of a special child.I want to share it with other special parents.

Kahlil Gibran says
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Thanks so much for sharing .I am sure it might be good for all parents whose life is centred around their children.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Class presentation

I am sooooo happy today.Prisha had her class presentation , where they have a little programme to showcase their singing and learning in school and parents are invited.She was one of boldest and clearest to speak on stage.I had tears running down my eyes to hear her speak not in english but hindi! 2 years ago we were aiming at just some communication but today here she was singing away in Hindi. I saw her singing away other nursery rhymes taught in school. Go my girl go , conquer the world!
I loved the way she told me -"Mama you go home, I will come in the bus.". She kept throwing flying kisses from where she sat and I kept giving back too.It was funny that from this far we were speaking looking at each others lips.We do end up looking at lips and can understand since we were at a distance. So it is ok.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Class name

Prisha really got me on my nerves today.......Mrs.Hudlikar asked her a particular bird in the page of birds.She immediately said "peacock".We insisted on the full sentence and she did.Then her next question was "what is a peacock?" The kids looked blank.I was horrified.Damn it Prisha , we have talked about it so many times.Ma'am gave hints like...."Is it a flower?.....Is it an animal? reaction.The bulb would not glow.I was fretting sitting behind her.Then finally she told them it was a bird.I need to work on the class name.There is never enough .I teach and she forgets.
Another important thing she spoke about was-reporting speech.She said ask her to report things to others.Eg, what did the teacher tell her in school.Teacher told me that I was a good girl.Or what did daddy say to uncle?Daddy told uncle to hurry up.It is important as not always do we talk directly.We speak in reporting speech.I have used it with Prisha and so it is not difficult but I need to make it more often so that she learns to listen to conversation around her and will integrate better as she will be more alert about talks around her which normal people unconsciously hear.The deaf children often feel left out in the normal conversations, whispers around which cuts them off from people.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

some pictures of Prisha's artwork

photoframe made from chocolate box-our happy family!!
Aship from toothpaste box and the scene from the sea shore.
Project file cover for school.She made the flower on the VCD and butterfly from the clothes tag.
An under water world!what colours!
Wow I finally could upload photos !Thanks to Deepak.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


For teachers' day on 5th Sept , Prisha had to be dressed as Dr.Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan and give a lil speech on the stage.Well, I got her into a pajama kurta with a stole and she had a turban tied on her head.We worked on her speech the whole week to perfect it.It went like this-
" Respected Principal Ma'am, teachers and my dear friends, today N-C will dedicate assembly to the teachers for their efforts."
There were many words which are new, difficult and not easy to explain.I was told by her grand mom that how would she speak.For a moment I too was a bit shaken up , but then I got after her .She would get stuck at " respected Principal ma'am" as there are a lot of tongue formations but with practice and corrections she said it so well.She spoke well on the mike. Her teacher sent me a -"thank you for the good job" message and I too got a smiley!!
Today's PTA went off well.Her teacher said her art work and drawing is good .She asked me to put her in drawing classes .To which I told her that her aunt is an educationist and we were advised that let her use her own capability to imagine and draw.We should not limit their imagination with the mindless coloring books and tracing the dots.I always get after her to draw things and situations around her which she does well.It helps her to be more observant and critical about her own work.As the timing of the school is long we do not get much done during the week.She even showed me her book where the children were given a surprise dictation of the alphabets.SHE HAD THEM ALL CORRECT.I was thrilled to see that as if she hears correctly she writes correctly.That means the hearing aids are tuned all right now.[Hopefully]

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Interesting reading

Very good reading!!

To You, My Sistersby Maureen K. Higgins -

Many of you I have never even met face to face, butI've searched you out every day. I've looked for youon the Internet, on playgrounds and in grocery stores.I've become an expert at identifying you. You are wellworn. You are stronger than you ever wanted to be.Your words ring experience, experience you culled withyour very heart and soul. You are compassionate beyondthe expectations of this world. You are my "sisters."Yes, you and I, my friend, are sisters in a sorority.A very elite sorority. We are special. Just like anyother sorority, we were chosen to be members. Some ofus were invited to join immediately, some not formonths or even years. Some of us even tried to refusemembership, but to no avail.We were initiated in neurologist' s offices and NICUs, in obstetrician' s offices, in emergency rooms,and during ultrasounds. We were initiated with sombertelephone calls, consultations, evaluations, bloodtests, x-rays, MRI films, and heart surgeries.All of us have one thing in common. One day thingswere fine. We were pregnant, or we had just givenbirth, or we were nursing our newborn, or we wereplaying with our toddler. Yes, one minute everythingwas fine. Then, whether it happened in an instant, asit often does, or over the course of a few weeks ormonths, our entire lives changed. Something wasn'tquite right. Then we found ourselves mothers ofchildren with special needs.We are united, we sisters, regardless of the diversityof our children's special needs. Some of our childrenundergo chemotherapy. Some need respirators andventilators. Some are unable to talk, some are unableto walk. Some eat through feeding tubes. Some live ina different world. We do not discriminate againstthose mothers whose children's needs are not as"special" as our child's. We have mutual respect andempathy for all the women who walk in our shoes.We are knowledgeable. We have educated ourselves withwhatever materials we could find. We know "the"specialists in the field. We know "the" neurologists,"the" hospitals, "the" wonder drugs, "the" treatments.We know "the" tests that need to be done, we know"the" degenerative and progressive diseases and wehold our breath while our children are tested forthem. Without formal education, we could become boardcertified in neurology, endocrinology, and psychology.We have taken on our insurance companies and schoolboards to get what our children need to survive, andto flourish. We have prevailed upon the State toinclude augmentative communication devices in specialeducation classes and mainstream schools for ourchildren with cerebral palsy. We have labored to proveto insurance companies the medical necessity of gaittrainers and other adaptive equipment for our childrenwith spinal cord defects. We have sued municipalitiesto have our children properly classified so they couldreceive education and evaluation commensurate withtheir diagnosis. We have learned to deal with the restof the world, even if that means walking away from it.We have tolerated scorn in supermarkets during"tantrums" and gritted our teeth while discipline wasadvocated by the person behind us on line. We havetolerated inane suggestions and home remedies fromwell-meaning strangers. We have tolerated mothers ofchildren without special needs complaining aboutchicken pox and ear infections. We have learned thatmany of our closest friends can't understand what it'slike to be in our sorority, and don't even want totry.We have our own personal copies of Emily PerlKingsley's "A Trip To Holland " and Erma Bombeck's "TheSpecial Mother". We keep them by our bedside and readand reread them during our toughest hours. We havecoped with holidays. We have found ways to get ourphysically handicapped children to the neighbors'front doors on Halloween, and we have found ways tohelp our deaf children form the words, "trick ortreat." We have accepted that our children withsensory dysfunction will never wear velvet or lace onChristmas. We have painted a canvas of lights and ablazing Yule log with our words for our blindchildren. We have pureed turkey on Thanksgiving. Wehave bought white chocolate bunnies for Easter. Andall the while, we have tried to create a festiveatmosphere for the rest of our family. We've gotten upevery morning since our journey began wondering howwe'd make it through another day, and gone to bedevery evening not sure how we did it.We've mourned the fact that we never got to relax andsip red wine in Italy . We've mourned the fact that ourtrip to Holland has required much more baggage than weever imagined when we first visited the travel agent.And we've mourned because we left for the airportwithout most of the things we needed for the trip.But we, sisters, we keep the faith always. We neverstop believing. Our love for our special children andour belief in all that they will achieve in life knowsno bounds. We dream of them scoring touchdowns andextra points and home runs.We visualize them running sprints and marathons. Wedream of them planting vegetable seeds, riding horsesand chopping down trees. We hear their angelic voicessinging Christmas carols. We see their palettessmeared with watercolors, and their fingers flyingover ivory keys in a concert hall. We are amazed atthe grace of their pirouettes. We never, never stopbelieving in all they will accomplish as they passthrough this world.But in the meantime, my sisters, the most importantthing we do, is hold tight to their little hands astogether, we special mothers and our special children,reach for the stars.

I found it on and thought I needed to share it with others too.