Live, Love, LSL: a Parent’s Point of View
By Hearing First Team February 17, 2016
To spread the LSL love, we’re sharing stories from families and professionals who Live, Love, LSL. Here’s just one of those inspiring stories. Meet Huma S., mother to two children who are learning listening and spoken language.
A lot of great things happen on the LSL journey. Like when parents hear their baby’s first spoke word, or when a child with hearing loss stars in a mainstream school play with their hearing friends, or when a LSL professional sees a family and their child with hearing impairment overcome a particular hurdle. But what powers those positive moments?
Loving and caring relationships do. For most families, those loving and caring relationships are essential to achieving their goals. To be successful in reaching a positive outcome, families must build relationships. The LSL community of professionals versed in issues related to hearing impairment in children and families who have children with hearing loss is where they’ll discover and foster those meaningful connections. The LSL community is where they’ll discover and foster those meaningful connections. The support and encouragement they receive through relationships has powered the potential of countless children who are deaf or hard of hearing. We’ve even seen children who suffered from being hearing impairment grow up and maintain the life-changing partnerships and relationships that their parents created during their childhood. Listening and spoken language is truly a group effort built on partnerships and relationship building.
Parents (and families) that are dealing with hearing loss in their children learn so much from relationships with each other, with professionals, and with their children. No matter where you are on your journey as the parent of a child with hearing loss, you have something to offer by sharing your story. You’re always one step ahead of another parent on the journey, so there’s always someone who can learn from you. All parents have value to share.
Earlier this month, we asked LSL families to share why they live and love listening and spoken language. We’re sharing those stories during the month of February. Here’s just one of those inspiring stories.
Meet Huma S. and her family. The mother of three, she and her family are on the LSL journey with her two girls, who were diagnosed with hearing loss shortly after birth. Huma’s family is an incredible example of one who’s doing exactly what it takes to reach positive outcomes – from how they reacted after a failed newborn hearing screening in the beginning to how they’re progressing and working through the journey as a family.
Hearing First (HF): How did you become aware that your child(ren) had a hearing loss?
Huma S. (H): They failed the hearing screening at birth and subsequent follow-ups when they were weeks old confirmed the hearing loss.
HF: What was your immediate concern?
H: How my child would communicate with us. What could we do to make things easier for her? What was the best choice for our family? Was it getting too late to implant her?
HF: When did you first learn of Listening and Spoken Language?
H: When my first-born was 11 months old, we moved to New York City and were introduced to auditory-verbal therapy. I met Ashley G when we move to Ann Arbor, MI and searched the AG Bell database for a local AV therapist.
HF: Why did you end up choosing LSL for your children?
H: We wanted them to be able to listen and speak and use their cochlear implants to the best capability of the technology. LSL just made sense for us, in the long term, as we felt it would place the least restrictions on my children’s development as CI users. Our focus has always been their futures, and we did not want hearing loss to be a barrier to them achieving whatever they wished to in their lives.
HF: Who has had the biggest impact on your child’s LSL success?
H: Our amazing speech and language pathologists have been the core of everything the girls have accomplished. They have taught me every single week, so that I may work with the girls at home.
HF: What has been your greatest success on this journey?
H: It is the little moments, when my girls just “get it” while having a conversation. Of course, the greatest success is that my girls are speaking and in mainstream schools, but it really is the little things that make us appreciate our choices (almost) on a daily basis.
HF: What advice would you share with other families just starting out on the journey?
H: Be patient – it is a slow road. The rewards are astounding at times, and every minute you put into your child’s development is worth it in the long run. Seek out other families who are going through – or have been through – a similar journey, as they are really the only people who can fully appreciate what your struggles are. Lastly, remember that your child will amaze you with their language skills. We have not ever regretted our decision to choose LSL for our children.
HF: What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting on the journey?
H: It is a long process, and no two children are the same, so be prepared for surprises and new challenges.
HF: Why do you love LSL?
H: It has allowed us to communicate with our kids with hearing loss just as we do with our hearing child. When my oldest was diagnosed, I wondered if she would ever talk, or what kind of schools she would have to attend. The LSL approach has helped her express herself and made a little less self conscious about her cochlear implants (although that varies with age).
HF: What has LSL provided for your children and your family?
H: In my eyes, it has provided my girls with the best opportunities they could have for language development with their hearing loss. They have no issues communicating with anyone in our extended family, near or far. And it has also helped them increase awareness of cochlear implants and hearing loss, as they go to mainstream schools, where they are constantly educating others.
At the heart of what we do, sharing the LSL story is imperative to grow awareness, extend the LSL message, and educate families and professionals about the amazing LSL outcomes that are possible for children with hearing loss. We love to see the progress that our LSL families are making along their LSL journey.
Follow the #LiveLoveLSL hashtag throughout the month to see what’s posted. And don’t forget to show your support with the free wallpapers and social media images we provided in our first blog post.
We invite you to share how you power potential with LSL every day.
You are the key to #LiveLoveLSL.
Do you have a story to tell? Share it with us! By telling your story, you can impact other families, professionals, and those who have never even heard of LSL. Your story can power the potential of another family and their child who is deaf or hard of hearing.
Together, let's #LiveLoveLSL and show how we are powering potential by living and loving LSL.