Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Meeting Priya

Yesterday I finally met Priya who is now 21 yrs or so running her own bakery from home.I had ordered some brown bread and buns.She arrived in a hurry , she spoke so normally and as she has recruitment [I hope the spelling is correct] where she is unable to wear the hearing aid as the sound is unbearable in that ear.She was , I think , a bit conscious as the class was on.We did the calculations and I paid up.I was disappinted as I was not able to meet her mom.Her mom was the one who introduced us to ma'am and changed our lives forever.So when she told me that she was in the car, I ran to meet her.I had got her a bunch of flowers , I hugged her and thanked her for what she did for us. I was meeting her after 4 years as I got busy with Prisha and never got a chance to meet her.It was an emotional moment for me.Thanks to her today with the correct speech therapy we lead normal lives.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Telecon with a deaf youngster

Today My speech therapy teacher Mrs. Hudlikar called up and said that one of her old students ,who is now integrated into mainstream, had called her up.The girl in her early 20's has done a course in baking and has opened a little bakery in her home.She makes all kinds of bread and would like her to tell other people to come and try her products.She told me to speak to her on the phone as she now owns her own cellphone! She wanted me to pose as a potential customer and ask her about her products, prices and make other small conversation as a customer to see how her interaction was.Just because she is a deaf person people will not just take pity and buy stuff.For them it 1st the quality and then how good you are at explaining.An outsider would not know she is deaf . And if she does not take the order properly or is not clear, nobody will be patient but will go ahead some place else.She needed to be polite, clear and very specific. I was so happy to hear her as she was so clear on the phone, she gave me her list and prices, the distance from ma'am's home, and we had the entire conversation as normal as it could be.It was so good to know how she is able to lead such a normal life.I have given her my order and will go and pick it up tomorrow.I really want to see how well she is integrated.It is so nice to know ma'am still goes beyond her therapy classes and is ready to take on her to make her understand the tricks of the trade.She wants to still teach her the skills required in the business.In this material world very few are like that . I am looking forward to it.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I have been doing a lot of description practice with Prisha.Well since a few days I have seen how she has become aware and has started to ask a lot of questions .It is almost a competition as to who will ask first.I had seen how she had given up noticing things as I was a bit too occupied with my stresses.I then started this pattern of asking questions...
1. what is this?
2.what is its shape/ taste/colour etc?
3. What is it made of?
what is the use of it?
I noticed this covers every aspect of an object.It helps to describe, so she learns the shapes/ various tastes/colours etc which are adjectives.She learnt lots of nouns, she learnt to notice things around and learnt all things that are man made have some use. She picked up verbs and action words which are most important in our daily life.I also never sit in a place and do do it as it feels like I am teaching.Whatever we do and whatever we come across at home or on the street and mall etc, we just talk about it.It gives more opportunity to talk and life is not boring .
I saw the benefits yesterday.Yesterday in the speech therapy class ma'am picked up a book where there were pictures of daily household things.She asked Prisha to describe a couple of pictures by guiding her through these questions.She got a hang of it and sure enough she started to rattle off.I was so happy and her confidence went up.She spoke 5 sentences on the iron, which were told by the teacher , and said them exactly in the same sequence.I really feel , early intervention, a bit of pressure in the 1st 2 years and persistence really helps the deaf to develop language.It is a never ending process but we have to carry on so that the child is easily integrated into normal atmosphere.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Another visit to the child welfare institution

Mrs. Alaka Hudlikar asked me to come and visit the institution for another round of discussion with the teachers of the deaf and parents about how we can develop language in the hearing impaired children.She had invited a few more kids with their mothers as examples to motivate parents and teachers.The lecture was as usual very interesting and informative.I have heard this so many times but each time I find something more to learn in it and also it re-enforces my learning of the subject.It was a long lecture where she talked about how language develops in normal children and the importance of language in the mental and intellectual growth of humans.There were people who listened to each and every word and took down notes.There were a few who were critical but it is a good way of starting a discussion.I was a bit touchy or should I say a bit agitated at a teacher who commented that she was lucky to have mothers who worked to develop speech in children.I felt it was unfair of that teacher to overlook her passion, dedication and hard work that she put in and pass on all the credit to the mothers.It is our teacher who ignites our mind, raises the bar each time, constantly corrects us , motivates us and is the one who is never satisfied so that we do not get satisfied and get laid back about the work that we need to do.It is the duty of the teacher to constantly light the fire in the mind and heart , set goals and examples and make sure that the target is achieved.Ma'am has never taken credit for the work , infact she always passes on the credit to the mothers but I feel it was very unmindful of him to overlook what she has been constantly doing for the last 40 years.I told him that as the teacher he needed to motivate , educate parents and be passionate about the work he has taken up to make the parents realise and work with him.Someone cannot be so lucky for 40 years.She has made the mothers we are today.All mothers from all fields are trained so well that they can teach any hearing impaired child.It is his insensitivity about the subject which I think is not able to make his students speak.Till he puts that passion and sincerity in his work there is no way that his students are going to benefit.