Monday, November 21, 2011

Three Years Later

I went to a panel for parents of deaf and hard-of-hearing kids this week at Lafayette Elementary, which is the magnet school for DHH kids in San Diego Unified. It was a great panel. Several of the panelists were parents of deaf or HOH kids, and they talked about the process of getting their kids identified and served (boy, did THAT bring back memories!). Two of the panelists were deaf adults, and I especially enjoyed hearing about their experiences. One wears a cochlear implant and functions in both Deaf and hearing worlds (she was born hearing but caught meningitis and lost it). The other was a Deaf man who came from a hearing, bilingual family. He is now married to a Deaf woman, and their son was also born deaf. One thing that all of them shared was that they went through a grieving process when they found out their kids had hearing loss. I suppose that makes sense to me, although I don't remember ever feeling that. So I went back and read my blog posts. You know what? I never grieved.

I suppose that growing up with a cousin who is Deaf, and having spent my early life immersed in sign language both gave me more perspective than your average hearing person. But even the Deaf panelist talked about grieving his son's hearing loss. And really, we are quite fortunate because Caleb can hear, just not well. Then again, things didn't really turn out as predicted (we still aren't tearing up his IEP, and he definitely still has language delays). All in all, though, he's doing great. I couldn't ask for more than that!