Hearing Loss in Childhood

I was born with inner-ear deformities, so I have dealt with hearing loss my entire life.

In school, I struggled to hear the teacher.  As a result, I was viewed as intellectually challenged.  I was also punished for failing to follow directions that I never heard or that I misunderstood.

I couldn’t explain to the adults in my life what was happening.  I didn’t understand it myself.  I didn’t know the other children were hearing things that I missed.

For me, I think the saddest part of growing up with a hearing disability, is believing I was stupid and that I would never succeed in school or in life.

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Aging and Disability: Transitions into Residential Care

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The book Aging and Disability:  Transitions into Residential Care is full of useful information that is presented in an organized and concise manner.

Here are a few of the main points:

There are certain personality traits that make it easier for people to successfully transition to residential care:  feeling in control of their lives, valuing strong bonds with friends/family, and viewing change as a challenge rather than as a threat.

The features of successful aging are:  having a sense of purpose, interacting with others, opportunities for personal growth, self-acceptance, and autonomy.

Once an individual is placed in residential care, they still need their family.  The family should be available to check on the quality of care their loved one is receiving, provide companionship, and assist with financial management needs.

Accessibility of eLearning

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This book has two main points:

  • The needs of disabled students have to be taken into account when considering how to deliver and support distance teaching.
  • A design that incorporates the requirements for disabled students is likely to be more accessible and useful for non-disabled students than a design without such consideration.

What makes this book unique are the links to websites that allow the reader to simulate taking a class with a disability.  I highly recommend this book, because it was eye opening and educational.

BAHA Implant Update

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I finally got the outer processor for my BAHA (Bone Anchored Hearing Aid) implant this week.  I am not really sure how I feel about it yet.

I am hearing better, which is great.  However, it sounds a lot different from a typical hearing aid.  I struggle to understand what people are saying, but I guess that will get better as I get used to the device.

The outer processor has a magnet, which attaches to the magnet under my skin, and sends the sound vibrations to the titanium screw in my skull, which then vibrates to send the sound directly to my inner ear.  The two parts are working great together and putting on the outer piece is really simple.  I just hold it up to my head, so the magnets can pull toward each other, and it pops into place.

The downside of the magnet system is the outer processor can be knocked off my head.  It’s a delicate and expensive device, so dropping it is not recommended.

The audiologist did give me a clip with a plastic wire that can attach to the outer processor and then it can be clipped to my shirt.  I am not a fan of this device.  I feel like a preschooler, whose parents clipped stuff to their shirt to prevent them from losing it.

In about a week or so, I am going to write another blog post about the implant.  By then I will be used to it, so some of these problems should be solved.

Fragile X Fragile Hope (Parenting a Special Needs Child)

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I learned a lot from reading “Fragile X Fragile Hope” by Elizabeth Griffin and also found it to be inspirational.  Her son, Zach, is intellectually disabled and displays autistic features, which was caused by Fragile X syndrome.

Elizabeth Griffin talks about the medical ramifications that cause her son to struggle in daily life.  For example, Zach’s stress hormones are heightened whenever he experiences a stressor.  Also, those chemicals will remain active in the brain much longer than normal.  As a result, he struggles to remain calm during normal daily events.

Elizabeth Griffin also discusses her feelings of desperation, guilt, and grief.  She gives an honest portrayal of those emotions and how they affected her life.  Support groups became essential, so she could work through those feelings and thoughts without fear of judgement.

There is section about navigating the maze of available services.  She discovered some treatments were a waste of time and money, but others were extremely beneficial.  Therefore, it is important to fully investigate your options and the services offered.

I recommend this book to anyone with a special needs child.  It is also beneficial to people who want to gain a better understand of the struggles faced by parents with disabled children.

Pity Pot to Positivity

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Life hasn’t always been easy for me.  I have faced various traumatic events, dealt with grief, struggled with disabilities, and endured hardships.  However, I will not allow those things to control me or destroy me.  I am an overcomer.

I want to move forward to remain strong.  I want to use my negative experiences to make me resilient.  If I can overcome my past experiences then I can conquer whatever the future holds for me.

Have I ever found myself dwelling on my pity pot, crying about my struggles, and winning about why these things happened to me?  The answer is yes.  I admit I find it cathartic to do so at times.

There is no shame in feeling defeated or feeling sorry for yourself.  Those are natural human emotions.

The important thing is to get off the pity pot and continue moving forward.  Don’t let your past destroy your future.