Stop Talking to Your Child

150During the two-week wait for the hearing aids our lives got turned upside down. I call this the beginning of the end. The school district came to our house and introduced us to a deaf teacher. This person would help Cooper. She was very, very nice. I actually really like her. We also met a woman from Minnesota Hands and Voices. Also, very nice. But as this progressed we started hearing weird things.

Here were the worst two:

  • You may want to stop speaking to Cooper and switch completely to signing.
  • Cooper should probably be enrolled in a preschool for the deaf  where signing is the primary language. It would also be only available to kids with special needs.

This is where I drew the line. Cooper could hear. Even if he did have a mild hearing loss, he could hear 90% of what was happening. I would watch him outside point to airplanes and birds. He heard our dogs before me. Yes, I would sign to him.No problem. But stop talking to him. Are you crazy?

We also received a video about working with your deaf child. This video traumatized me. I drank a whole bottle of wine and cried. And then drank some more wine. I started to get really angry. I refused to cooperate with what needed to happen. I had brief thoughts of moving away. Away from all of this madness. We could live somewhere else and start fresh. Crazy.

I decided right after my wine and the video that I was never going to treat Cooper any different. I would never expect any less from him than any other kid. And that meant I had to tell people. Our parents already knew of course but we decided to tell our closest friends. It was hard. These are the friends that have the fast-talking advanced girls. It was hard to tell them that Cooper had a hearing loss. I was never embarrassed. I was just sad. And angry. And jealous that their kids were fine. It all added up.

So, I ordered books. I watched YouTube videos. (remember, i’m obsessed with research!) I got information on toddler signing. I was doing this. No half assing for me.

Don’t let me fool you. I was still so sad. But I had grieved for almost 3 weeks now. Time to suck it up and put on my big girl pants.

When we picked up the hearing aids I was positive. I was strong on the outside.


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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!


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When my son was first diagnosed with autism no one was talking about it. Autism was hidden. I vow to change that.

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