November 18, 2016

To whom it may concern:

Admittedly,  I am the annoying mom at school. The one who asks all the questions, brings up all the concerns with the administrators.  I want answers. When I go to the Doctor and he prescribes a medication to my child, I don't say, "Okay". I ask, "WHY". Why do they need it? Is there something else that might be better? Is it necessary? What else might we try? Thankfully I have a wonderful doctor who lets me be, ME. So when I have a child at school, specialized or not, I ask a lot of questions. No one, is going to tell me what is best for my child. No one, is going to make decisions for my child. That blessing was given to me and my husband,  alone. I listen to the advice given from those that work with them, educate them. Then, I do some reaserch. I talk with other parents. I try to educate  myself so that I can make a decision for my child with confidence. I want to know that it is the right decision, FOR THEM. It may not be the decision the professionals would make for them, or the same they would make for their own child. Probably not even the decision another parent would make in a similar situation. But, I know my child best!! I have this bond, this connection with them that no one else has. Most parents would agree to having the same gift.

So when I am faced with people who don't like the mode I have chosen to raise my deaf child,or don't agree with MY decisions for them, it frustrates me. This is my child. Not their child.  I don't believe that we have to agree on how to raise our deaf/hh child. But we do need to respect each others decisions.

I have observed young deaf children as young as 6 month old communicate with their deaf or hearing parents. I see children everyday that communicate effectively and can focus on learning because they have language. They have friends, love and support. I can also recognize how well a cochlear implant can work. It is amazing technology.  A better than better hearing aide. A tool.  But it is not for my family. If, when, my child grows and makes that decision for herself, I will support her. For now, let us focus on who they are. How they are doing. Where they are going. If we see that changes need to be made, make them. Let's celebrate their success together. But please, don't force us into being enemies. We can all work together so that each of our children get what they need. Succeed through confidence, teamwork, and support.  Any child can be successful if they have the right support. Take it away and you are setting them up to fail.

We all have something in common. We all have a child with a hearing loss.We will do whatever it takes to ensure their success. We may choose different paths, but our goal is the same.

November 6, 2016

#Why I sign

Every now and then my third kiddo struggles with going to sleep. Usually because something is on her mind and she needs to chat. We have had many late night, late for her, conversations. Our most recent was about the upcoming presidential campaign. We discussed the candidates and who I thought I would vote for. We discussed gun control and building walls to keep people out. We discussed the funny "name signs" for our current choices and then our conversation took a slight turn.

"Mom" she says "I am going to be president and tell everyone they must learn sign language. All the hearing people will have to use ASL so we can all talk and be friends."

I love this kid.

#Why I Sign