December 20, 2009

The Day I Discovered That I am Hard of Hearing

I was probably 7 or 8 at the time. I was talking to a friend of mine about how to get the right consistency of sticky mud to make the best mud pies. We debated whether or not the mud pies should have a rustic appeal to them with the bits of twigs and rocks. My friend wanted a more clean look. During our heated discussion, my friend covered her mouth with her hand for a brief moment (I think she was wiping at her nose). All of the sudden it was as if she was speaking a foreign language. It was just gibberish!

"I like the twigs but blabbity blah wah buh wah wah wah...."

I realized right then and there that I did have a problem with hearing. I rely on lip reading! But, like any kid, I quickly put this aside and continued to focus on making the perfect mud pie. I never really thought about it again or spoke with anyone else about this. I did not think it was a big deal.

What I would like to know is, why didn't the so called experts and deaf and hard of hearing teachers tell me this? It would have been interesting to me and beneficial to understand how much we rely on lip reading. Then I can tell others not to cover their mouths. I did not know I could do this. I was not sure if it was rude to ask people not to turn around or not to cover their mouths as they talk. I did not really know how to deal with these awkward situations. Nobody told me (well my parents tried to tell me, but who listens to their parents?). I had to figure it out on my own.

I try to talk to my students about these issues. I hope that I am helping them in some way. I don't want them to later ask, "Why didn't anyone tell me?"


1 comment:

  1. Interesting...I've had a coworker say she noticed I was reading lips before I got diagnosed with my hearing loss and was completely oblivious to the fact that I didn't hear the way others did.


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