Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I saw a dream

Leah and Julia, I am so happy to hear that there are parents who are following AVT all over the world and are leading a fully normal successful lives and you agree that AVT is the way of life for all of us.Sign language does isolate an individual like you said.It is like knowing, for example, Japanese and then visiting Spain and not knowing how to communicate. But by knowing a language known world wide, more accepted known even by a small time village person too, you can make yourself understood.I have visited Paris,and I felt the need to know french {had to make do with a bit learnt in my catering college}, in Germany I need to know German, in Bali needed to know their local language etc. But through a spoken English language mastered over the years liberates you. I am confident to be able communicate anywhere in the world, and this I needed to pass on to my daughter and the other mothers who follow AVT do the same.We have a 40 year old lady Bansari, who has been trained by my mentor since she was 3 years old.She is so independent and has travelled to Dubai, communicated over the years through English and does not need sign language. I asked her about her experiences, as being the Mom of a deaf child myself I am curious to know how this therapy has worked over the years specially when there is EARLY INTERVENTION.She said she met a deaf signing person and she could not understand what she was trying to convey through signs.Being deaf herself, not trained in signs but only in AVT, she asked the interpreter to interpret the sign language into english for her!! That was a defining moment for me.40 years back with hearing aids as good as boxes, she has been trained in AVT and leads a normal life like me.Priya Kshirsagar , trained under ma'am too runs a bakery business and communicates through English language, speaks on the phone, talks to her clients for orders and billing etc, listens to music does not need signs as she has only known oral communication as a mode of communication and is leading a normal life like me. These and many more successful stories of Mrs. Alaka Hudlikar include engineers, a dietian who are a couple in their 40s.If they can benefit through this mode of communication, then I have no reason to doubt, as I have better hearing aids, better audiological tecniques and access across the world to know what is new and how good or bad AVT is. I have yet to meet a mother who has a deaf child and does not want her child to talk.It is a mother's instinct which leads her to the right path. There is a mother of 3 year old Rashi, whose mother is in touch with me through phones. She has her aids since 4 months now but through AVt she is doing so well. I was surprised to hear her talk. She spoke so well on the phone.Signs are good when the child has been diagnosed late or the parents too are deaf and are signing.Also signs also are different in different languages.So the purpose is not served.There are students of our therapist who ahve married normal people and they fell in love with these hearing impaired people and I am sure they communicated in a comman language in a normal circumstances.The couple is not communicating in signs, the conversation is in a comman language.
As far as the deaf shift to signs the moment they are left together.......kids in our class talk !Also don't the normal kids sign when they don't want to be heard?As far as meeting other deaf children out side, how many deaf people do we come across in our lives? In Prisha's school of 3000 kids, there are only 3 deaf kids. that is 3 in a 1000. The chances of them ever meeting is rare and even if they do, Prisha would react as other kids would. If the speech of that child is alright if they follow AVT, She too would talk to them, or she would ignore and walk away.It is how sincerely you take it up.Also if one has to follow sign language , why invest in hearing aids and cochlear implants?
Again these are my experiences as the mother of a hearing impaired child, it is my journey which has taught me and got me on the right track.I was not happy with the speech therapy I was getting when she just got aids. It was my instinct that told me what I was following was not right.The moment I came across this, 6 months into this style, I was sure i had found my path to success.I am sure these personal experiences are echoed by many more mothers who follow this system.
On a lighter note, I need to share something! I had been telling prisha about the concept of dreams since April this year.In May she told me about what she saw in her dream and since then I had been asking her if she saw another one.I needed to affirm this concept to Prisha which is very difficult teach to the child as it is so abstract.Yesterday she woke up so excited and yelled out "Mummy, I saw a dream!'. I stopped in my tracts and turned around an d looked at her. I asked her about it. She told me she saw clouds, and in the sky there was an aeroplane and a helicopter. On the road there was a bus which had flowers painted all over it. She was on that bus. We were so excited, and I took it forward. I asked her to draw it for me and colour it.She produced the whole concept on paper so beautifully. I was so thrilled!All, this was possible in language and she and I did just that though speech and language developed through AVT over 4 years which I think a normal child would also do.I believe in what I am doing and I believe I will succeed.Nothing can deter me from this path towards success.


  1. Yes, I think sign language (when it is the primary language) is usually used by children of deaf parents or by children identified very late. We have two boys in our community- one didn't get a CI until he was eight years old and one was aided and got a CI at 3 years old. The boy who wasn't implanted until age 8 is now at a school for the Deaf and uses sign language (didn't get much benefit from the CI). He is happy, but unable to easily interact with the majority of the world. For him, sign language is the better alternative (though it does come at a price). The boy who got his CI at age three is very verbal and is a regular part of his mainstream class (he's the only deaf child in the school). He actually does know some sign, but prefers to use his voice and plays with hearing children with ease.

    Two different paths for two different boys, but I certainly preferred the latter path so that Nolan could interact with EVERYONE and not just the 3/1000 children who have a congenital hearing loss. Plus, since the majority of deaf children are now auditory/verbal, the percentage of kids using sign language exclusively has fallen dramatically.

  2. I think you put it so well in a paragraph. Any mother would not like to miss out on the opportunity to hear her child's voice, and given the right therapy and early intervention and dedication does rule out the isolation otherwise the child would face.Thanks Leah for re confirming my belief in AVT.

  3. Great going Ruchi. It is very inspirational to see a determined mother giving her best to her children. Keep going. If you believe in your system and it is showing you the results as you go along - just 'keep walking' you are bound to reach the GOAL.
    There would be people all along to detract you from your chosen path, but 'keep walking'lady.
    This is not to show anyone following sign language as wrong but as some one rightly said -'There are lot of roads that lead to Rome, you need to chose the one you think is right'
    You have chosen AVT and you and your child are benefitting from it.
    I am also a parent of a hearing impaired child in Europe and my child also follows AVT. She goes to a normal school and is well integrated into normal society. There is another friend of mine (coincidentally Indian) working with a German Automotive MNC in Germany and his child also follows AVT and speaks now English, German and Marathi (some time all mixed up) but isnt it great for the mother to hear him speak to her AAyee !! Mummy and Mama in Marathi, English and German respectively.
    Again for some reasons, I would not like to identify myself but Keep going lady - you are doing well.

  4. hi rouchi,
    i am thrilled to read about rashi in ur blog.it assured me that i am on the right track.listening to u is so inspiring that i m hundred folds motivated. i changed her therapist.this new therapist is more experiecned n has a hearing impaired 16 yrs old son.she couldn't find any help 4 him so she did this course to help others. i can do this alone but meeting a trained therapist is assuring n i hope rashi will benefit from her therapy.
    yesterday rashi asked me her first question without my help. she said "you want sit here"? word "to" was missing but i was just looking at her.