When we first got the diagnosis that our son is profoundly deaf, the idea of saying those words aloud felt impossible. After our appointment, I couldn’t even call my family. I had to send them a text instead because I couldn’t find the words. By saying it myself, it became real — and for a while, I wanted to believe it wasn’t.

After a few days, the initial shock began to ease, and I found myself beginning to talk about it and start processing. In the time since discussing it with others has helped immensely. Both for myself in terms of processing and also in order to educate others.  If you’re struggling to process a diagnosis and can’t fathom talking about it, know that you are not alone. But over time, you may find that discussing it helps you heal. Here are a few tips for how to talk about your child’s hearing loss diagnosis.

1. Begin by talking to someone you are close to

It’s scary to discuss your child’s diagnosis in the early days, but talking something through also helps you process what is happening. Of course, you don’t have to talk about your child’s diagnosis with anyone, but for many, it’s helpful to discuss and begin to process. If the thought of discussing the diagnosis makes you panic, choose someone you are close to and trust immensely, someone you can be vulnerable with. Sit down with them and explain that this isn’t easy, but you know you need to talk about it. The people close to you will understand and will allow you to say whatever you need to and experience any emotions you have. 

2. Start small if you need to

If talking about your child’s hearing loss is something that causes anxiety or sadness for you, don’t jump in all at once. Start with small pieces, ones you feel comfortable divulging. In many cases, this may mean sticking to just the facts and not discussing any of your feelings around the diagnosis. And that is perfectly okay. You are not obligated to feel a certain way or to discuss your feelings with anyone until you determine that you are ready.