OOOOOOOOh, yesterday, Luca took me to Venturina for my birthday present: a massage and relaxing day at the thermal waters dayspa of Calidario. The massage was heavenly, the water cold, but it was soooooo relaxing. I'm in this relaxation mode that will last about another half an hour before my next lesson, so when I found this advertisement, I thought I'd post it.
The ad is for the Hear and Say Center of Australia. The Hear and Say Centre is one of the leading Paediatric Auditory-Verbal and cochlear implant centres in the world, teaching children who are deaf or hearing impaired to listen and speak since 1992.
The Centre aims for its children to achieve speech and language in the normal range for their age by six years of age giving them the opportunity for a mainstream education, employment of choice and social integration with the hearing world.
The Centre is a charity based in Brisbane with regional centres on the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Cairns and Dalby with an Outreach program for rural and remote children. It is a family based program recognizing the parent as the natural language teacher of the child.
I appreciate two aspects of what I've learned in the past five minutes about this center: first of all, I like that the ad has the children speaking and saying, "We are deaf," and secondly, I love that the Center recognizes the " parent as the natural language teacher of the child."
Sometimes, this great responsibility of becoming both teacher and parent can be overwhelming. Parents need to realize that teaching a deaf child to speak occurs over a prolonged period of time and that sometimes, it's okay to take a little break just to go to the gym. The Pediatric Cochlear Implant Circle was founded by two women, one of whom is Australian. Naomi's "swings and roundabouts" post sums it all up rather eloquently :)... These were her words to her group... Hi all
To all you amazing wonderful moms and dads on this list - don't be soo hard on yourselves! As someone once told me this is not a sprint it is a marathon...you need to pace yourselves, if you go too hard too early you will burn yourselves out.
This is even more true for those now diagnosed as tiny babies, for goodness sake looking after a baby is tiring enough and now we are adding in working on hearing/listening skills - no wonder you are feeling just a little worn out.
Yes it is very important to work on these skills for your little ones, you know that...but you know if one day you are just soooo tired putting one foot in front of the other is all you can do, then just do that....the world won't stop turning and 10 years from now you are not going to be saying "if only on that one day in November I focused more on x's listening skills, than I did on myself"....at the end of the day, having one day off to just "be" isn't going to make a big deal of difference in the scheme of things.
Keep a little notebook of really easy to understand things you are working on like colours or "up/down" or whatever it is....then when other people come around to visit - rope them in!! I mean that in the nicest possible way : - ) Most people want to understand and want to help, give them the chance, what is that saying it takes a village to raise a child....I was truly blessed, our AVT used to come to our house and my mom used to come over and sit and watch our sessions so she always knew what we were working on! But you get what I mean here right?
This journey has highs and lows all the way through, go crazy and celebrate the highs but don't beat yourself up too much on the lows either. There are good and not so good teachers whether your kids have a hearing loss or not and some people "get it" and some never will. Remember they are the expert in that classroom, the group dynamics and educational pedagogy. YOU are the expert when it comes to your child, you know them best! Grab that knowledge and work with the "professionals" as an equal, treat them with the respect that you expect them to treat you with, and don't let them intimidate you because you don't have letters after your name. It is all about swings and roundabouts, some days are good, some not so good. The road is a long one but those of us with older kids will tell you, the journey, the hard work, oh man oh man it is unbelievably worth it. I can't tell you how my heart feels to bursting when I watch my guy in action, one of the "gang", one of the successful kids in his school/with his friends.
Hang in there, and most of all don't be too hard on yourselves!!