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
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.