This post was originally written for Hearing Like Me.
Two months ago, I didn’t know a thing about hearing loss beyond the obvious. But that’s because two months ago, we hadn’t yet received our son’s diagnosis.
I’ve since learned that being vocal about hearing loss matters especially if you were once a parent new to hearing loss.
Our three-month-old, Cooper, is profoundly deaf. When I heard that for the first time, when it became real to us, I was terrified. In retrospect, I think much of that fear stemmed from my lack of knowledge. Hearing loss was a scary, unknown concept to me, as I grew up with normal hearing. I didn’t know what that diagnosis meant for the rest of his life. This is where being vocal about hearing loss has made a difference.
Seven weeks later, Cooper’s diagnosis feels much more manageable. Sure, there are still some unknowns and it’s still unnerving to think about the obstacles our little boy will have to overcome. But I’m not terrified like I was at the beginning — and so much of that I owe to other people’s willingness to talk about their own experiences with hearing loss.
Because of this, I’ve come to realize just how important it is to speak about hearing loss and to be a source of education. Here are a few reasons why.
1) You may be the person who pulls another parent new to hearing loss through
After Cooper’s diagnosis, I sought out other parents who had been in the same boat. I Googled and searched on Facebook like crazy. And by doing so, I crossed paths with a few people who have been instrumental in helping me realize that hearing loss doesn’t need to be scary. Hearing from those people about their own experiences pulled me out of the dark place I’d felt myself sinking into. I realized that if they’d done it as parents, so could I. If they hadn’t been willing to be open about their experiences and share with me, a total stranger, I’m not sure where I would be emotionally.