You Are It!!  — Tagged by Life!

Almost all of us have a routine in our lives. We are aware of the roles we play and for the most part, manage it comfortably out of habit. Life goes on..smooth. And then one day, Life points her hand at us and says “You are it!” which brings about a jolt and we are compelled to rise above our usual self. It happens to people all around the world at some point in their lives and on April 5th, 2013 it was our turn.

autumn 2014A diagnosis of severe hearing loss for our (then) 19 month old son Adith meant we had to tread into a world we were clueless about – of hearing aids, audiogram, cochlear implants, Auditory Verbal Therapy and Speech Therapy to name a few. The diagnosis in itself was shattering and the fact that there were none in our close acquaintance who had travelled this path before made it intimidating. Adding to it, we were new in a country that was much different culturally than the one we were raised in. There were no known professionals in medical services or pathology services. Away from family and friends in an unknown country, it looked like an extremely difficult path ahead of us. Stages of denial, apprehension and despair followed but were soon replaced by belief, determination and eventually to jubilation.

Auditory Verbal Approach is based on the principle that a child who is deaf can be taught to listen and  speak by the use of amplification devices or cochlear implants and thereby integrate into the hearing world and lead a life as a hearing person. However, this requires a lot of commitment from the parents. Amplification device alone does not enable the child to speak- intensive speech therapy is a must for them to be able to utter the sounds of speech clearly and engage in meaningful and intelligible conversations with others.

Just as the warm autumn colours fill our hearts with delight, we watched in glee as our son slowly imbibed the sounds around him and began to say it out- first the vowels and slowly the consonants, one after the other.  I had to wait a good 29 months to hear him calling “Amma” for the first time ( I remember telling my husband that I hope to live atleast until I hear him saying “Amma” correctly). Sure, we have a long journey ahead of us but there is no looking back because “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it!”. This is our journey of rich experiences, of appreciating the often taken for granted things in life, the journey to better hearing and clear speech!