This little sapling, represents the start of your journey as a parent of a deaf/hard of hearing child (d/hh). Welcome! We wanted to create a little corner especially for you, where we can recommend where to start off your search of information as you grapple with what seems like an overwhelming number of questions and decisions. What we want to emphasis here more than anything is that you are not alone!
We all remember the early days, the day of identification, getting the hearing aids for the first time, the many visits to the audiologist, the many hours wondering what this all means and why it all happened. A poem that describes the start of this journey really well is Welcome to Holland, by Emily Perl Kingsley. Take a moment here to read it and realize you have friends in Holland!
You will find much info on this website about a host of topic and you may be overwhelmed initially by all of this. How about taking a look at some of our FAQ’s where I’m sure you will find some of the answers or at least guidelines for approaching some of the questions that you may have at this stage.
I’d also recommend that you scroll through our parent stories and you will see that you really are not alone on this journey. These very people are fellow South African parents that you may be able to connect and share with. They represent who we are here at THRIVE, moms and dads like you with similar struggles, concerns and dreams.
Before moving on, why not top up your tank with one of our favourite clips – Nice to meet you.
Our Resources A-Z is where you will find some of the information that you may be looking for. Some of the articles that may be most interesting in the early stages of your journey will include the information regarding communication choices, informed choice, helping your child to use hearing aids, info around the causes of hearing loss and the level of hearing loss as well as how to understand your child’s audiogram and what on earth is the speech banana? Go through these in your own time, on this journey knowledge really is power!
May I humble you with an interesting fact? At this point your dreams and ideas about your child’s future are probably not neatly visible in your mind’s eye anymore…there is probably a fuzzy haze where you once had a glimpse of what your child’s future looked like. And now, the pressure to make all these decisions, can further add to this blur as, what if you go wrong with a decision? All research shows that the two things that truly determine the outcome of a child with a hearing loss is what? It’s not the individual decisions that you need to make…breathe a sigh of relief…what matters most is A) Early Intervention, and B) the parent’s involvement with their child – active involvement!
That’s all? Well, that requires you to watch your child – what is or isn’t working for him or her, be flexible in your decisions, challenge professionals and fight for what you believe best fits your unique child. Learn to communicate with your child and above all may they know that you love them unconditionally.
We are here to help you with questions that you may have, ask an expert if you are unable to answer your questions through the resources that are available here. Make contact with us, we can link you up to a parent mentor who will walk this first part of the journey with you and we can connect you with a community of parents in your area. If your child is under 3 years old, be sure to make contact with HI HOPES! They offer wonderful home based intervention FREE of charge! If you need help with this, don’t hesitate to contact us. Even if your child is older than 3, and you need advice, send us an email and we will guide you further.
No one is promising that this will be easy. We are promising that you are not alone, and that every ounce of effort will be totally worth it!