It started about twenty-two years ago. A baby came into this world; it was an easy and quick delivery, being the second child. His parents were so excited for a boy, because they had a daughter and this balanced it out. His mother thought his was the perfect baby; he slept most of the first night she brought him home. He didn’t fuss much compared to her daughter that was quite the opposite.
As time went on it became noticeable that he wasn’t talking and he seemed to not pay attention when called. At doctors checkups he was growing right with the charts and they said he was going through a phase of being independent. His mother and babysitter tried to determine, on their own what they thought was wrong. Finally they started to realize something. When he was looking at you he minded, and when not he went about his own business. She took him back to the doctor and insisted that they give him a hearing test. Come to find out, he was hard of hearing. Being born that way, he adapted to reading lips so well, it was just second nature to him.
Finding out that he could only hear low sounds and none of the high sounds he was given a set of hearing aids. Being four years old and having things in your ears seemed a little strange. But to his mothers amazement after the first day there was no stopping him. It was fun to watch. He would stop constantly and try to find the noise he was hearing. For the first time he heard the birds, the TV, and all the different sounds most take for granted, like the refrigerator. He would just wonder around finding this and that.
Preschool started. Since he had a disability, he got to start early. It wasn’t like others, he had to learn how to speak clearly and fill in the sounds that he could not hear. Then the next challenge was to read and write. This was even harder, because reading the letters have a different sound than speaking the letters. As new school year came and went it brought on a new challenge, being from a small, rural school, they did not have a lot of special needs children. Getting the teachers to adapt to him was up to his mother and father. His mother was not going to let him get behind.
Bullies!! It’s amazing what kids can do when they do not understand things. To his defense he had a great asset looking after him … his older sister. When she was around, they left him alone.
With the persistence of him parents and giving him the mindset that he is no different from anybody else he graduated high school with honors and was accepted to college. College was a great experience for him. Through his studies he got to go to Africa for three weeks to help with their schools and clinics. He has done internships in his field, worked two part-time jobs, and has become a volunteer Fire fighter, like his dad. At the age of twenty-two he is graduating with a Bachelors’ Degree in Regional Planning and Development.
Who is this young man……my son!