Robin was 2 days old when we found out that she was deaf. She was tested as a newborn due to the family history of her older sister, Julie being diagnosed with deafness at age 14 months. When the doctor told us that Robin was deaf, I grieved. It was a very emotional time for us as I fully expected we would have a hearing child.
I truly believe that because of our acceptance of Robin’s deafness, this has made her a very proud Deaf young lady. Her environment growing up was not a struggle as it is for most deaf children with hearing families as we were already using sign language in the home, and had learned a lot about deafness from the professionals that had worked with our family at the Central Florida Speech & Hearing Center.
Our family was fortunate enough to be referred to the Center and we met the most wonderful speech therapist who was fluent in sign language, understood the needs of a deaf child and knew how to get through using total communication. She gave our family a peace of mind that a deaf child can grow up to be a happy, healthy and successful Deaf adult. She was absolutely right!
Robin was fitted with hearing aids at 3 months of age, and wore bilateral hearing aids from that point through elementary school. She stopped using bilateral aids and started using one hearing aid in her better ear as she complained that the bilateral aids gave her “noise” in one ear, and good “sound” in the other.
Recently Robin obtained a new pair of digital hearing aids, which by far surpassed her expectations. With the digital hearing aids she is able to enjoy music in a whole new way. She can hear the music, but the words as “fuzzy”. Prior to the new hearing aids, she could only “feel the beat”. Robin has enjoyed being able to participate in the Dance Troupe at her school where she dances to music and signs the lyrics simultaneously. She is able to independently perform the dance moves to the music with her new hearing aids, but still requires some visual cues from her teacher for the lyrics.
Robin has accomplished so much in her life. She is my miracle and she has never disappointed me. Robin was one of only four students in her middle school, grades 6 through 8, who maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout the year. This was in a hearing school taking a full academic load and two Honors classes. Robin has been able to maintain her excellent academic record even as a Senior in high school currently.
Robin has never let her deafness stop her. The Center gave Robin the confidence to reach outside of her “comfort zone” and communicate with others. Robin never sees herself as a deaf person who can’t, but rather a deaf person who can do anything! She sets no limits for herself based on her deafness. She is proud of who she is and would not change a thing.