Friday, November 30, 2012

Awareness on deafness in Grade 3

     This week, I was invited by Prisha's class teacher to come and make the 3rd graders aware of deafness.Last year I had given to her class too and it went really well. This year again it was necessary so that kids understand her needs better and also understand how they can help by being considerate about her needs. The class was briefed by the teacher and I went in with my little talk on deafness. Few kids still remembered from last year. They asked questions and realized how life gets limited when you have certain disability. The kids were amazed at how much Prisha had to compromise with her time , spend more time with reading, give more concentration compared to her class mates when people talk, ignore back ground sounds and how she has to struggle with issues of hearing aids etc. Few kids were very considerate and promised to be less noisy, ask Prisha if she had understood what was being talked on the field or in class, help her if she asked for help in class when she misses instructions and not laugh at her or ignore her if she does not understand something.For us it was a big relief and the talk ended with kids trying out Prisha's hearing aids .It blew their minds when they put it in their ears.The background sounds and unclear artificial sounds.....the kids were amazed and thought that Prisha was brave. They promised to be less noisy and would be considerate. Prisha too sat there in the class looking very happy. I think I shall do this each year and that way kids learn how blessed they are and not to take for granted what they have and to be very kind and empathetic towards people with disabilities. It would help them to become better and sensitive human beings.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Prisha has an accent

       Yes, have been away for too long from my blog. Today a nice observation made by my mentor Mrs. Hudlikar got me back here from my busy life.
        I gave her the feedback of Prisha and told her how Prisha has picked up accent living here in the last 2 years of our stay here. To this Mrs. Hudlikar pointed out that since Prisha has been fitted with the right hearing aids and since they have been tuned well and she has been trained well, she is hearing the various accents and has picked them up and is talking with an accent ! Its so true ! The 1st year of our stay here, she had a Canadian teacher and so she talked like her , the 2nd grade saw her with an American teacher and she was talking like her and now again with a young Canadian teacher with very dramatic ways, and Prisha is talking like her ! It is coz she is hearing  well, she is doing so. This was not possible had she been lip reading or was using signs as add ons with her speech ! I suddenly realized how lucky I was coz Prisha has well integrated into the system and does not need any lip reading nor cochlear implants to make her speak better. She is hearing well and is well trained to lead a normal life in this world !
        I think we were worried about her transition from India, but I think it has gone well as from there to now, her journey has been commendable. She rolls her "r" well and uses all her tricks in her power to copy the various styles she hears at school. I guess this was possible only coz of good auditory training and our pressures that we put on her to speak well. Goes to prove that you just need well tuned appropriate hearing aids and good speech therapy to make a deaf child integrate into the normal world. can't thank Alaka ma'am enough.

Friday, August 31, 2012

A long wait and an update

   Yes, it has been really long since I came on to my blog. Too many things kept me away and I missed it as much. I designed and painted the set for the school play, Prisha too visited and did a bit of stenciling , she enjoyed that. the school had international fest and I got busy with the hospitality bit and then soon after it was vacation time. We were in India and yes many things there with my eyes being lazered for eye correction and a cousin sister in law dealing with advanced breast cancer and then back again here. All in all so much in the last 4-5 months that few things which were priority actually went in the back ground. Hoping to blog more often.

   Time to go back to school, Prisha came to grade 3 and then started my stress about what is in store with such an open kind of education, she does have her issues. We had a meeting with the principal of the school, the mentoring head and also the class teacher to see where she stood and what we could expect. In certain areas she did fall short but in reading, spellings and her hand writing scored very high. Her areas that needed help were abstract concepts and using vocabulary. We have to work harder on those areas.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Prisha needs a mentor

    After my move here, I came to know about mentoring at school. It is a volunteer, could be a parent or a student, who helps a child dealing with issues. The issues are varied, transition mentoring as the child is finding it tough moving into a new school and new country, many issues at school, social issues, mental issues which work against the child at school, etc.
     I was very fascinated as it gives the chance to the child to really integrate into the school and enjoy the learning experience. I volunteered and still wait for my turn to come. But I was very sure that it would benefit Prisha greatly. But the school didn't think so. So I have been slowly working my way up, volunteering at school such that I am noticed and people take me more seriously. It helped me boost my sometimes sagging confidence and also helped me understand the school better. Soon enough, made space by being closely with the class teacher, talk on deafness in class such that the class teacher understood what i mean. I was called by the child counselor to discuss issues with Prisha and I stressed her need o have a mentor. A mentor for her would be required for.....
1.Coming from different culture, a mentor would talk about issues which are different from ours.
2. What are the various activities they have at home, outside, vacations etc, could be talked to with Prisha as our activities vary.
3.The games the kids her age play,books they read, movies they watch, etc she could discuss with mentor, that would help her to understand the local kids better and it will help her to play their games and be more part of the group.
4.It would help her to get more exposure to accent different from ours, more exposure to English spoken differently.
5.Understand Prisha better and help me where I lack and need to add.
        The mentoring head was looking at a 10th grader but for me I think it made sense to have a mom who can handle her with more maturity. A mom would be able to understand her needs much better, where to push, where not to with Prisha. So I am excited as tomorrow I should hear from her about a possible mentor for her.We shall have a possible interaction and see how best we can fit a mentor and work as a team to help Prisha best. I would stand by to help the mom to give her best possible support.
         Other issues that we discussed were....
1. Prisha wasn't given hip-hop despite trying so hard. It would help her making friends from different groups and also boost her confidence and fun.
2. Individual education plan (IEP) was pulled out without our knowledge and it would have helped as they had specific goals ..long term n short term. So if possible, get that back.
3. Coordinate more with her class teacher, her teacher who comes to help 50 mins a day, learning support head, mentor, mentoring head and me so that we can set goals and help Prisha more effectively.
4.If possible know who is going to be her new teacher in the 3rd grade and fill her up on Prisha's needs so that there is no loss of time when we start the new year. By the time I start and they understand her needs , half the year has gone by. So the new teacher should have a meeting with us all so that she is more prepared and there is no lag and lack of understanding.
5. The school doesn't allow exchange of too much information about what is being taught in advance and there is no home work. As a result I know nothing as a mother what she is learning at school. Sometimes she doesn't understand what is being taught and then its like the gap that keeps becoming bigger as she hasn't understood the core. So if I am informed what is being taught at school, we could work on her from home and she goes with some base to build up her understanding on. The teacher could tell me where they had issues and I could work at home with her.It will bridge the gap and the teacher could have support and less frustrations of how to help her.

I think I was very happy with the meeting and its like new lease to us. I look forward to more support from school and more concrete structures of help for Prisha. The mentoring head was pleased to meet me and she realized how hard we have worked and are hands on parents. I am glad I volunteered so much and so it helps to get support, all worth it to help my little fighter !!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Listen and repeat......the need of the hour

Snoozing on the way to Berlin
            Two weeks of long Easter break just passed by so quickly. We had guests over and so a lot of Hindi movies , Indian food and lots of attention on Prisha. It was funny to see her chuckling and laughing at the slapstick movies and I wondered what made her laugh as she isn't familiar with the language. But yes she read stories , we had discussions and the 3 day trip to Berlin, about 6 hour drive from here.So we packed up and one thing I did was ask her to pack her own things this time and we made it a great language activity.
           We started with a count of the number of days we were away, so how many sets of clothes- what does one set consist of and one extra for emergency, shoes, night clothes, accessories, which suitcase, cosmetics, her hearing aid kit, hair dryer....name it and she was to do it. I must say we did a bit of Math, improve English, memory game, planning and above all my work was reduced. We had so much fun and she looked so proud at the end of it.
            One more thing we need to do with her is ask her to listen more with her mouth closed and then repeat after us. This is going to be helpful as she knows I would cross question her on it.Its really essential and in the long drive to Berlin with a bit of push , we saw  it made a huge difference in her speech. Also her HA is acting weird. She says it makes a weird sound, something like ....wao wao, and its not continuous. have to sort it out. We had got her puretone audiogram and its funny that her levels at high frequency show a deterioration of 10db and improvement in lower frequency by about 10 db. We are wondering and have not made any changes in her HA as the audiologist suggested. So hanging on.
           Berlin trip was also great and she did good with her walking, clicking pictures and looking at the building. we talked to her about the Parliament, the government and everything to do with it while we walked around the parliament building. Now we are back and its again school time ! She is happy and so are we.
              

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Deafness and blindness


Hearing loss is a bigger loss than blindness. many would disagree. But it is a fact. When people go into coma, one is asked to keep talking to the patient, it is to keep him alive, grounded to life. The eyes may be closed, mind shut off but hearing is on and the brain is tuned to grab any sounds and specially voices.
To get a better picture of deafness over blindness, one exercise can be done, many would have done, it is from everyday life we all would have experienced in life. Mute the TV and keep looking at the movie or documentary or a song anything. What do you experience? After few minutes, you lose all interest in it after a while and maybe sleep off after a while. Now close your eyes and listen to any CD of your choice, what do you experience? Body starts to react to it, music or speech, your brain is full on into hearing and you are alive. So its the sounds and hearing that keeps us more alert and alive and focused and is very essential to lead life. One needs to develop language for living.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Social integration still tough

Prisha's 3D presentation on healthy eating...impressive work!!
      Just last month after the talk about deafness in class I thought that Prisha would make more friends and she would be happier, and now last evening she went up to my husband and her 1st sentence snapped something inside. She said " dad, I want to tell you something about school. When I play during recess and lunch break, the friends don't listen to me as they think I am boring".
      She sobbed and sobbed and the brave soul that she is, she cried out her woes , we just listened. It breaks my heart many times to see her dealing with so much at such a tender age. She is fun, happy child , very spirited and always ready for any activity. I wish the kids could be more tolerant with her. She still misses a lot of conversation in the playground and so misses instructions and eventually the play. We have pepped her up for now to just hang on and she would soon have friends.
      But it is tough to deal with it and really hope she finds her circle soon. Class wise her teacher told me she was really good when she talked about energy in her unit of inquiry. She has been guided at home on it and she went happily talking about it. So that pumped her confidence a lot. Just hope friendship issues get solved soon.
      

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Updates from school

         I have been waiting to see the reactions a few days after my talk at Prisha's class on deafness. These effects die down soon and was hoping that all the kids would still understand Prisha's issues. But I am happy to know that she has a few who still help her out and are playing with her. Makes me happy. The teachers are more cooperative and give her a lot of attention in a positive way. Some girls have now started to be with her in group games. The teachers also try to understand her needs better. She used to give a few answers in the class which were a bit out of context, few kids laughed at her then. The teacher now makes an attempt to let her give an answer where they know she has better understanding and expect a correct answer.It boosts her confidence and gets her more respect and acceptance in her class by her peers. The teacher is giving me a few more hints on what is being taught in class which helps us to work with her at home and in turn she is more comfortable in the class in her understanding of the subject being taught. We get a few books home too on the subject. So hoping all is going good this term. We are still waiting to see if she gets a mentor to work with her once a week. The mentoring head is away so waiting for her to come back and get a best fit for her.The counselor would also work with a group of girls to get Prisha more friends soon after the Easter break. So we just wait and watch. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Alaka Hudlikar....perfect speech therapist

Here is a video of what Alaka ma'am has done to some of her students and their families.....bring happiness and joy in each home of the deaf. A video in Marathi epaper Sakal. I am proud to share it on my blog !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=DE&feature=youtu.be&v=ok0CcNrwafY

keep going ma'am, we are so blessed to have you in our lives.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Prisha has friends !!

    I am so delighted at how kids can be so warm and caring. I have got such good feedback from school and the teacher said that she found me very interactive and warm with the kids and it did bring a change in their own attitude as well as the kids too in class. So I offered that I could talk to other sections too about it as some moms have shown a lot of interest. And she said it would be a good idea as they all play together during lunch in the play area and also they would be shuffled in grade 3 too. She even said that Grade 4 has disabilities as part of their unit of inquiry right now and probably it would help if I could have a word on this with them. That excited me immensely. So looking forward to some good news from school.
         The kids who were a part of it yesterday went and spoke so much to the parents at home that I had a lot of moms coming and appreciating our journey and were very supportive. Now Prisha had a girl coming over, giving her a card which says they are going to be forever friends...lol. I was so happy and Prisha seems to be beaming with joy, now I really don't know how long this would last, but am happy that the little girl had those thoughts for Prisha. She now has a playdate this Friday at a  classmate's home and the next week another one has called her home. So things are looking up, just hope she is able to make use of this in a big way. I hope the change in attitudes of all around her at school would bring more learning experiences at school.I am happy I spoke out and took this step.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spreading awareness on deafness in 8 year olds

Talking about deafness

Tried hearing through hearing aids

Fascination !! 

A power point presentation
            Today was a big day when I was going to talk about deafness to Prisha's class. Did not have too many expectations just that they sit through without getting bored. The session went really well and I had them listen to our story, know what it is to be deaf and also our daily struggles. When I asked if they had to loose a sense between hearing and seeing, they all said hearing. But at the end of it they knew how much struggle goes behind Prisha learning the language. The kids were keen to learn all that I had show, loved to hear through the hearing aids and they really thought that Prisha was very brave. We did earn more friends and a few who came in to ask if Prisha could come and play with them after school. We earned a bit more empathy from teachers and students who are all now looking forward to helping Prisha.
            I did tell them her daily struggle to manage new words and listening and socializing in a bigest way.I think this talk made them realize how lucky they are to have normal hearing and to be able to make friends easily. This also gave Prisha a big shot in the arm, as she sat their proudly listening to her mum talk. A few questions from kids too came a surprise and was happy to answer them. I am glad the school gave me this chance eventually to talk about this subject and hope the kids develop empathy for any child or person with disabilities in future. I feel elated too and gave me the confidence too. Few mothers asked if I was ready to talk about this to the other classes where the kids had no clue about deafness to spread awareness. I am more than willing , I said ! It would help me spread awareness about this subject which is so close to my heart.

Educating the 8 year olds

Today I am going to educate 8 year olds from Prisha's class about deafness, its effects and constant fight to be a part of the social structure. I am hoping to plant seeds of empathy into the little minds where in they learn to empathize with not only people with deafness but also other disabilities and become a bit more sensitive to the needs of such people. Taking hearing aids so that the kids can feel them, hear through them and would know what is life for the deaf. Keeping fingers crossed and hoping to make it exciting and fun enough to make them listen up. I am excited, a very young audience !

Friday, March 2, 2012

Update with the school counselor

      Prisha has issues making friends. I think it does happen with any child with any disability and special needs. The normal children cannot identify with the issues and are not aware of the depth of the problems. Being kids they are unaware and so cannot keep pace with the needs of special kids. And so when I see Prisha complaining that kids do not include her in their games, or she isn't able to hear the instructions in the play area as the kids mutter and run away, I do not blame them. Some kids are considerate and do try but then they need to play with others too. Sometimes some kid pulls them away too, the regular stuff happens too. Some days are good , some days as she has missed out some instructions, she misses out a good time with friends too. So after a long discussion, we eventually had the school counselor stepping in to see how best we could work out things for Prisha so that she has a good and decent social circle at school to make her more happy at school.
        The counselor said that she was happy to see Prisha's growth in the last year and she is more intelligible in her speech and she has started to hear better and learn a lot more. She did acknowledge our work that we have put in to help her understand the big change in her life after our move here.So next thing to work was her social interaction which is very important for her emotional development. After much discussion we concluded that Prisha would benefit greatly if she had a mentor who could spend time with her once a week and talk to her, talk new and varied topics and play some games which would be fun for her, that would include story telling too.I was very keen on this as it would be a good extension for her, learning new things in different context, accent to learn and also learn what other parents talk to their kids.The challenge is to get the best fit, we have to just see if it is a senior school student or a parent. Keeping fingers crossed on that.
       The next thing is that she would make agroup of about 5-6  students from her class. It would have a few kids who are nice to Prisha and the rest who have been nasty and unkind to her. She would then ask those kids to help her help Prisha make happy at school secretly. That way the kids would be kinder, learn her problems and the nasty kids would learn to be more friendly with her. The counselor would be in touch with Prisha to get updates about who was being kind and played with her at school. I think these plans look good. I even suggested if Prisha could be a part of the ESL group where she would be part of the English learning group. She would learn English and what she is confident of, would give her confidence. We shall review this in due course. I am now waiting to hear from the mentoring and counselling team eagerly. Let us see what they would eventually decide which would make Prisha even happier at school.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Am on Facebook

      After my blogging and Youtube uploads I have been encouraged by many to do go beyond, my mind and heart push me too. There is so much information that is there but sometimes it boggles you with the language and the magnitude of it. Sometimes a bit concise and simple language can make all the difference. The lecture at the deaf school too encouraged me to do go beyond and spread awareness amongst the masses.How and where was the question and then I thought of networking site. Everybody is on Facebook and that inspired me to start a page on FB and it has been liked by quite a few. If nothing more I expect the masses to learn a bit more about it as one never knows who would be affected and also they might just share with someone they know. I update it daily with a bit of information from me and some from the net. Am hoping it makes its place felt in due course of time.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Impaired-but-Empowered/264962493565917

I am enjoying this and hope to improve on it as the years go. My personal experiences too would be there.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Ear is clear

      This morning we got the call from the ENT specialist eventually. We have been waiting to hear good news and we did. She is clear of any fungus in the ear and now we just need to de-wax her ear. We have an appointment where he would put ear drops and clean her ears. So maybe the ache is also due to the hard wax which hurts her when she presses her aid in her ear. We would soon sort that out.
       Meanwhile Prisha is quite unhappy with her PE period. Her teacher asked her to do a somersault and when she said she cannot, he still pushed her to do it and then helped her to do one. In the process she hit her chin badly on the chest ! She was hurt badly and her chest has been hurting her a lot since then. More than the hurt she is scared of now going to school and when she saw there was no PE, she reluctantly got ready. She is developing a fear I don't like. I have a meeting with the PE teacher next week and we need to sort this issue out. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Ear infections again?

    Prisha was down with chicken pox last week and we were busy with her.She got it from my son and we didn't know if we wanted it or not for her. The itching and pain in the boils made me feel she shouldn't but the fact that it would give her immunity towards this for life, made me want it for her. So we spent the entire 3 weeks looking after kids who were isolated from regular life..lol. My son had one in his ear canal too and so that fear was there that if Prisha had it in her ear too, she would be without hearing aids for 10 days. Fortunately, she had a small bout of it and she was clean in 8 days. Maybe something to do with the vaccine.
     After about a day , she started to complain about ear pain when she pulled the mold out of her left ear. Fear again and remembered the bad year of ear infections. So we took an appointment with an ENT and meanwhile we kept checking her ear. We had been to the audiologist for new molds and she said that her left ear had hard wax and so had to get it cleaned before taking the impression. Her complaint has been on.
      This morning at the ENT specialist, we got her ears looked into and said there was a lot of hard wax and something that looked like fungus. he is doing the culture for us and we would know by Monday. Meanwhile he did find some redness in the pinna (part of the ear that covers the outer ear).So he cleaned her ear and put some gauge with medicine for the whole day. It tickled her a great deal she said....I think the itchy ticklish feeling was from the medicine that was working on it. Next 2 days , she is without the hearing aid in that ear and we need to put that ointment 2 times a day. Hoping this makes it good or else he would start on antibiotics. By then we would also know the result of the culture too.Keeping fingers and hoping that we are not in the list of ear infections !
    

Monday, January 30, 2012

Deaf blind

       Mrs. Hudlikar has a big challenge and yes she isn't giving up. The kind she is, she wouldn't and she would do everything possible in her right to do the best she can for the children.
      She has a case of a deaf blind child who came to her when he was nearly 3 yrs old. The parents were too hassled and running around trying to look for solutions for his blindness and didn't give much thought to his deafness as much. The parents came to her and she got the child 1st thing fitted with adequate hearing aids. The child had this sense of feeling 1st time besides just touch. Not being able to see and hear, he relied totally on touch. And now it was a new journey of his life through hearing. Something to start a communication going.
       The parents saw the difference her speech therapy and the hearing aids were making. The child has started to pay attention to sounds. Its now 8 months into therapy with her and the child has started to speak a bit too! I had goose bumps and tears just listening to the story and could feel a bit of what his parents must be feeling too. He pays attention to hearing sounds and the mother very proudly came and told ma'am that in the afternoon the little boy hears the ice-cream man's bell on the street and goes running to buy one ! It was so beautiful to hear it. Now they are all focusing on mobility training and braille for the little boy. There are going to be huge challenges.The parents have to be strong. For the child , as he is born with it, is nothing new.But over the years he would know what he is missing. There are a lot of issues that would need to be worked on too.
       Right now I would be glad if any of my fellow bloggers could be kind enough to give me links on what can be best manged for his integration in the form of education, emotional and physical support and anything that could help this child to grow as independently as possible. India is not easy as far as any disability is concerned. Any input, blog links etc would be of great help. Thanking you all for visiting and look forward to inputs for this child.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bumpy head


   This morning was pretty eventful as I had to meet Prisha's teacher to talk about her fall y'day in PE. While jumping over a rope, she feel backwards and landed on her back and wrist. She came home sore and complained about her pain in her head. We thought she was just tired after a long day and also a little sore from her fall. She slept through most evening and complained about her head hurting and her wrists were a bit sore too. We gave her pain killers and promised to speak with the teacher. She said he told her to get going even after the fall while she cried. She had bumped her head a few days ago when she fell of her chair. It hurt for a few days and combing her hair wasn't easy.
     This morning when I met the teachers they said they gave her time to rest while Prisha denied. Don't know what was happening. I told the teacher that Prisha was hearing impaired and it was not easy for her to do a few things. He complained that there were times she turned around when he talked. I told him that there were times she couldn't understand what he spoke as the gym was an open area and the voice gets dispersed. And she had issues with doing all the jumps etc as there was not much available in India and so she wasn't used to it and in the last one year has made some progress with gym. Her concentration on keeping herself safe is so high that she is clumsy on the runs, jumps etc in gym. I am sure the hearing loss also plays its role in her lack of doing good in this area. He would soon meet me up to understand Prisha's needs.
    The nurse was also surprised that she wasn't informed of Prisha's falls. She looked and her neck at the back seems swollen and her right hand hurts when raised. The PE teacher was told that when kids fall, the nurse should be informed. Poor Prisha is pretty stressed about being in PE period, hopefully the issues would be soon sorted and Prisha would be happier at PE with her needs taken care of.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Another visit to a deaf school

Teachers who got motivated

Interaction of the kids


The deaf kids who touched me

My lecture which earned me some great audiences

Motivated youngsters who promise to make a difference.
     My mother is a volunteer to a few agencies which work for social causes. One that came her way was a deaf school. After Prisha's birth there were days she cried for hours and refused to go again to the school . Not her fault, 3 grand daughters with different disabilities, dealing with the emotions was so tough. As Prisha grew and she saw her speaking, hope that all would be normal, got her on track. She told the school about how we manged to get Prisha oral, interested the school and they asked me to come and talk about what we do. I had been postponing it due to my own inability to be there as I now moved here. This visit to India , I promised myself that I would definitely visit them.
    As the school was closing for Christmas, I wasn't expecting any kids at school. But I took Prisha with me and walked in. The principal showed little interest. My mother's friend is a volunteer and he was very keen for some changes at school. He was very motivated looking at Prisha and was keen that we could motivate to make some changes at school. He had given me a dismal picture of school and looking at the school authorities, I was really thinking that I made a mistake perhaps as they showed no interest. Saying is one thing, doing is another.
    I walked around the school and talked to the teacher who was showing us around. When she heard our journey, she was fascinated suddenly suggested that in the absence of kids, I should speak with the teachers. The teachers entered very lazily and I really had no expectations.Soon I started my talk about our journey and I saw a change in them. They seemed interested and soon I had them involved in my lecture and they wanted me to come again the next day to talk to a wider audiences. They clapped and suddenly very motivated to work with the deaf kids.
     The next day we got ready and  prepared Prisha to say a Sanskrit prayer and an English song to show the 3-400 people I was going to address. Soon Xmas celebrations started. There were 80 kids of grade 8 with 4 teachers from a normal school who had come in to interact with the signing kids. It was eerie to see the deaf kids dancing to silence, practiced moves through visual learning. The other kids put music and danced with them too. The kids signed and there were those difficult moments we all faced when we saw how difficult it was for normal kids to understand what these deaf kids were trying to communicate. I watched silently, wishing in my mind that these kids talk to if they were given the right advise. I came across a few desperate parents who were told about my daughter talking. they came looking for solutions and magic tricks that could help their kids to talk to. So many mal-practices and so many wrong advises by specialists spoilt the life of these families. They looked longingly at us. Something in my heart snapped too.I gave them all the inputs I could give and also the name of our blog and you tube. The teachers were waiting to hear me again and looked after me like a celebrity.
       After the interaction of the kids, I was asked to come on stage and talk.I said to the audiences that they saw one world where they feel that the deaf are mute too, but now was going to make them aware of another fact....deaf can talk too. There was silence. I asked Prisha to come and sing the verse and then her English song. After her song, there was utter silence and what followed was loud clapping. I then talked about how deaf can talk, our journey and how we blog to make a small difference specially in India where so much wrong is happening. I needed support to spread the message that we need to seek correct solutions and needed to question the specialists to get the right help what we deserve. The lecture ended with a standing ovation and thunderous clapping and the teachers and students promised to spread our message. That day I earned many supporters and admirers. Very humbling it was. The chief volunteer announced 3 prizes for teachers who are able to make special attempts to make students talk, inspired by us.The teachers were ready to take help from us. One teacher ,deeply motivated, requested me to come to her class of deaf kids to talk to them.I was a bit taken aback as I knew no signs. She was keen so I went in. I saw very happy kids from 5-15 yrs of age waiting eagerly. I started to talk and the teacher translated. It was so heart wrenching when some looked at Prisha talking and expressed their desire to talk too. Some mentioned how they missed normal life and find it difficult to deal with daily life and have to have someone assist them when they go out. We discussed about issues they face and they cheered for us and their happiness and spirit was addictive. That was a very touching experience and made me feel very humble. I have been asked to come and visit the teachers each time I visit Delhi and motivate them to sincerely help the deaf kids. The volunteer had updated me with all the issues at school and it was clear that it needed sincere upheaval.I was deeply moved when kids from Appeejay school at Delhi were so motivated to spread my message too.They promised to talk about deafness and spread awareness too about it.I hope these youngsters make that difference in some one's life.
      I really hope I am able to make ,even if small, difference. Even if some parent gets motivated to work with their kid and not give up on their deaf child, some teacher who pushes the deaf child enough, or some student who would spread the message around that....deaf can talk, would be something I would be grateful for. So much to do in the world, one just needs to go out and spend time to show the support. I don't know if I could or would do something, but even if there is more awareness that would help people seek for answers, my mission to spread the message would be achieved.