Today we get to meet a mom and developmental psychologist who specializes in the unique social and emotional development of children with hearing loss.
Dr. Schorr's Story
My son Moshe had severe neonatal hyperbilirubinemia (bad jaundice) that caused his hearing loss. He failed the hearing screen when he left the NICU. The neurologist who followed him made the diagnosis at 2 months. He did not react in any way to sound.
Moshe's hearing fluctuated dramatically for three years and he got hearing aids at age three. I remember taking off of work to be with him the day he got them, thinking that he would need his mother if he would have such a life-changing, life-defining thing like hearing aids! I laugh now, since he is such a regular kid, doing regular things and his hearing aids are really not the most important part of him.
My son has had a lot of challenges in school along the way. He is now in 9th grade at a rigorous high school. I think that the hardest part has been not hearing everything the kids were saying and therefore, not knowing exactly what is going on. He is still coping with this challenge and it gets harder for parents to be involved when kids get older.
My website, Hearing Families, is dedicated to parents of children with hearing loss. I use it to share experience on issues that often fall between the cracks of professional expertise - not audiology and not speech. I focus on social and emotional issues that are very important to parents raising a child with hearing loss.
My main message is high expectations and realistic situations! That means to have high expectations. Children are a product of their expectations, if we give them the message that they CAN do it, they just might! At the same time, I encourage parents to think about things from their child's perspective and keep situations realistic enough that their child can succeed. Set them up for success.
Thank you, Dr. Schorr! Social and emotional issues are a very important part of the equation. I'm glad you've provided us all with resources to conquer that type of problem.