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I don’t like being deaf

As parents of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing, we often have to answer tricky questions or have difficult conversations with our kids. They may not like their hearing devices or being different from other kids and struggle with their sense of self and identity. Dr Bianca Birdsey is a mother of three deaf daughters. She asked clinical psychologist Elspeth Cornell how we can respond to our children at these challenging times.

Don’t say “I KNOW”.

  • We don’t know how our kids feel. We can never truly understand how they think about events in their lives or how they will respond emotionally.

“Thank you for telling me how you feel – for letting me into your world.”

  • We can show our love and support and validate their feelings.

“Yes, you are deaf. But you are so much more than deaf.”

  • Help them move beyond the hurt by reminding them that they are so much more than just their deafness.

“Tell me more about the things you like and don’t like, some of your favourite hobbies, ideas of what you might like to be in the future…”

  • Encouraging your child to talk about their interests, hobbies, and future aspirations can help them develop a more complete sense of identity.

Download the Real Life Tips infographic.

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