Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Singing in choir

Nigerian song

Who says she can't sing? If you get the right guidance,believe in yourself and push hard enough one can do it. So proud to see her stand up with other kids on stage to sing. Choir group at her school had many kids and she chose to enrol by herself in it, went for practice at school, asked for written lyrics so she could learn the words and at home would close her room and sing at the top of her voice ! She believes she is a good singer and so do I ! She won my heart and left me in awe of her determination. 3 songs , she learnt them all. ♥ If she can do it.....anyone can.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fear turns to empathy

     Prisha with her hearing issues deals with many other issues. Being understood, being accepted by people, at times limited understanding of few things, friendship issues are just a few of them. Yet we keep working tirelessly and make sure her morale is high up and she works hard to be up there. Her spirit to learn and accept her shortcomings and her disability is commendable. Being her parent I understand her pain and at times when she has to deal with friendships it can be very hard. The need to be accepted as she is , to be called as a friend and made to feel wanted is always a wonderful feeling and makes her day. The new school has a very positive atmosphere where kids are more easy going and accept her much better. After a long time she has stopped crying and being sad for friends and also is happier and calmer at school. She has her group , mostly Indian, and she loves being with them.I am a satisfied and happy mum.
    She often mentioned "L" to me and said she always hung around her group or played with her. I was glad that she had a good time at school with her. Then we met at Kumon and she begged me to let Prisha go with her home for a playdate. She was pretty hyper.It was already late and so I wasn't too sure. Before I could react her mum came in and the reactions made me feel as if she wasn't really wanting her to have one. We came back home.
    Yday we met at Kumon again and she was with her sister. She again begged me to let her go, I finally gave in. Her older sister offered to take them home walking as they loved walking. Her sis said she would be careful with Prisha on her roads and L said ..." my sis has been taking care of me for very long and she walks me home many times". Convinced I allowed her and drove back home.
     Later in the evening my hubby went down to pick Prisha from her home and she lived just round the corner, we were quite happy as this would give Prisha a chance to have a few playdates close by. My family returned and I see L rushing down too and ringing our door bell many times. I was a bit hassled and rushed to open. She came in and blurted a few things including a sleepover at her place and my hubby somehow dropped her back home. My hubby and I felt everything wasn't of with her. I found her too hyper and I was suddenly uncomfortable with the idea of having her this close to her place. She was comfortable coming on her own and that means we may see this very active girl too often.
     Today once we got home from school, an hour later I see L coming down the stairs in front of the house. I froze for a minute and then allowed her in. I made it clear that we don't do a sleep over yet , I have to know her better before we have one at our place. Prisha isn't allowed unless the family is really very close. She has had only one stay over till now.
    Soon she was all over the place , took Prisha to a nearby park, came back and started to paint. By now I was really wondering if I want her around and was a bit skeptical about her skills with handling the colors and water. We made it "paint friendly" and they both started to paint. Soon we saw her writing in paint a letter to her teacher. I got back to cooking and suddenly heard my hubby call me. He said L is dyslexic and has ADHD. My heart melted and my face was washed out. I sat next to her, a very warm and tender feelings inside me now. I asked her hesitantly and out she came with all confidence telling me about it. What she said made me melt. She said she had ADHD and was dyslexic and explained the problems associated with it. These were new to me. She had language issues and spelling problems, blurted out stuff which could offend people but she never meant to do so, could be very hyper and had learning support at school. She had friendship issues as no one wanted to be friends with her. This bit really hurt me and I could understand her pain which she said very matter of factly and with immense confidence. My feelings changed and my fear, anxiety, "anti-her" feelings disappeared and I decided I am going to be patient with her and help her feel differently. Could understand what she must be feeling coz Prisha goes through it always. I also got to know the letter was for her class teacher as she was her pen pal! That explained the writing bit on her card. The teacher had a unique way of helping ehr with her vocabulary and writing skills. I had a huge sense of respect for her teacher!
      Soon I saw another side of her, she was caring in her ways, Prisha didn't hear but she did and so got the reading glasses for my hubby, tiptoed out of the room as my hubby did his evening prayers and excused herself for disturbing. I stopped her for dinner and she ate our Indian dish with loads of yogurt and sugar. She wasn't keen to go and was full of energy, but I decided it was too late to stay out. My hubby dropped her back despite her insisting on going back alone. Turned out her dad was looking for her, wonder if she did tell tell her dad that she was coming over to our place.
      Thinking since then, how the special kids need to accept their shortcomings in life. Today I felt happy trying to make her feel cared for. For me it was a revelation of sorts. Now hopefully we shall plan days and have her come over.I am glad I have not lost my humane touch and could treat her with due love and attention. We are now preparing for her impromptu dropping in for play dates or Prisha being called more often. How to deal with it we shall see. A certain discipline has to maintained and a balance being maintained. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Empathy and sensitivity towards the hearing impaired

General thinking about deafness is that ....oh she can't hear but can speak and that's ok. No one knows what went in for her to speak coz you don't hear you don't speak.....period. I was lucky we forced her to hear , understand and speak. And that takes efforts even now as she has to strain more than others , has to work harder than many students put together to get a few things done. Hard work, p
ressure, stress, frustration, heart burn, scorn, push are a few words she saw very early in life as against many things most normal kids take for granted. Not being accepted easily by people around, not being kind and not being cordial and patient.....she understands it all when the others show these behaviours. Next time when you see someone trying to say a few sentences and is putting all their being together to get it right, just have respect and be patient coz you don't know how much guts and courage one needs to be in those shoes. Imagine if the roles were reversed and you were there struggling.....the action that follows would be easy and a sense of fulfillment would prevail.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Interesting " do it yourself" links for kids

Language development

Language is a very important means of communication between people. Our entire development depends on language as it gives meaning to every action, thing, emotion and thought. There can be no development of the world if language did not exist.
Language is important as it is an important tool to communicate. It catches an incident, crystallizes it and then can recall, recollect and be related later. Otherwise without language the moment would just be passing moment. We even think in language.
Human mind is wired to acquiring language. The moment the baby is born, his vision is not clear but his entire focus is on the buzzing, booming and bustling world of sound. From birth to five years, the entire development plan of nature is such i.e. everything is developing, sensory motor, biological, psychological, emotional and intelligence and it is only focused on one aspect and that is development of language. Once it is done, the brain has done its most important function for the rest of the life. Because based on the language that we develop, all the cognitive development takes place on that foundation. All our academics are dependent on the development of language. Once you learn it , it is easy and one can learn math, physics, literature, etc.Though the mental, physical and cognitive make up is there to learn the language , we still need to learn it.For eg. If an Indian is adopted by a Chinese , he’ll learn Chinese as his atmosphere is that of language.To learn it otherwise , I would require a teacher.I don’t learn that language by just being born to that family.A brahmin’s son would learn the shlokas as his environment is constantly teaching him that as so is it for a musican’s child.A child learns language by the atmosphere he lives in.So our language environment has to be very rich in order to make sure the child has acquired the most important aspect of life.A child in a rich environment has more emotional , cognitive and language development than a child who lives alone in a languageless atmosphere.
There are certain essentials of language learning.It is the way we talk.Most of us talk so badly.We are so much in the rush of things , that we seldom stop and think of the way we are talking.How is it that some people are able to attract and get people’s attention for hours and there are some who we run away from as we don’t like to hear them.Our voices have to have the intonation, expression, inflexion and there has to be the right expression in the voice and on the face.It is this that will attract people to the most boring discussion too.The most exciting discussion can be a bore if the speaker is dull and expressionless.It is for this reason that the nursery and pre- school teachers need to have a pleasant personality so that they can attract little kids’ attention as their attention span is very small.A teacher who is able to modulate her voice, excite and use the correct expression and intonation will have children paying attention and doing very well in her subject.
It is important also to have our conversation using full sentences. These days people are rushing past and are not taking out time to talk.One should speak full and grammatically correct sentences and expect the same from the kids.Take time to stop and correct the child and help him to develop his language for him to have an all round development.Parents need to read books and inculcate good reading habits and clear conversations.Have discussions on varios topics.I have come across a few mothers who tell me that their 3 year old is not talking.I first ask them how many people are there in the family and then how much time are they spending with them.Some living abroad complain their children do not talk.As it is there are few members in the family and then they are busy cooking and doing household chores and the child is either left alone to play or left to play with the maid.What type of language environment is that?There is no language will the child learn?Then there are people to keep the child busy they put on audio and video cassettes.But let me tell you there is no substitute for a live conversation!
The next question is “what do we talk to the child?” Well everything!!If we see from the child’s point of view, everything is new and exciting and fresh to him.Go down to his level.Be a part of his curious world.Change things around the house for him to notice,give answers to his whys and hows. Use a lot language to be part of his excitement and you too will dicover joy of reliving a new life fresh from his eyes.It will increase his awareness and it is curiosity that will make him more observant. The most important, effective and accepted means of developing language remains its use in real life communication situation. If you don’t dust your home one day , it is okay but spending that time with the child to show things around in your surroundings and talking about it would go a long way.Better still , take him around and do your daily chores and take your toddler around asking him to pull the bed sheet there and pushing the chair there and see him happily oblige you.He is happy, occupied,close to his mother, mother is doing her daily chores and the exchange of words helps him to build language.Language is learnt by listening, understanding and then applying it to other situations.When the child does not have language around him, how will he listen, what will he understand and where will he apply it?Parents are busy and send little toddlers to schools and pre-schools when it is essential to be with parents to learn lessons of communication.At home left to maids, when they do not speak, they expect teachers in school to develop their language.A teacher in school has to look after the needs of 30 odd students each with a different language.How can the teacher teach each child to talk?This is the duty of the parents to make sure that when the child goes to school , he has a foundation of enough language from where the teacher can take off and develop it further. Create an atmosphere which includes all kinds of speech which means not talking sweetly all the time. There has to be a difference between your tone and expression when you are angry, excited, sad, happy, questioning etc.
We as parents are responsible for the groundwork and should help the children to build a strong foundation of language for them to acquire greater heights and achieving their dreams.

Ruchi Goyal

Small difference in accent

Prisha has just made out a small difference in a word. How we think it's not possible with the hearing impaired. I felt thrilled and she found it so amusing and couldn't stop laughing ! She is my little wonder.Water is that word that makes her giggle. Small discoveries.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Prisha's write up

Prisha was so inspired that she has written a whole post on it. I am loving it. Click on....I am proud

Prisha's write up

Prisha was so inspired that she has written a whole post on it. I am loving it.

Hellen Keller

Friday, May 2, 2014

Prisha talking about her connection she feels with Helen Keller (+playlist)

I am so happy to post this on my blog after a very long. Just caught up with so much ! But here is Prisha all of 10 and she feels connected to Hellen Keller. Blessed to hear her talk this way, accepting her disability and being confident about it. This is all I can ask as a mother.... She should be proud of what she is. Not saying there may not be days when she is upset and questions me..." Why me mum" , yet as of now happy that she is taking it in her stride. All thanks to my mentor Alaka ma'am!
Hope this inspires many parents to come forward and see deafness more seriously and take up speech therapy even more seriously. Hope it gets the place it so deserves.