Joy in the Journey
By Hearing First Team December 28, 2015
Before you jump into resolutions for the new year, spare a moment to take stock of the many ways your family saw breakthroughs this year on the Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) journey. Remember to celebrate all of the gains your child has made in the past year.
“There’s no such thing as a small step on this LSL journey, or a small gain in Listening and Spoken Language outcomes for your child.”
You survived the holidays! The last week of the year always feels so quiet compared to the hustle and bustle of the months before. Gifts have been unwrapped. Family gatherings have been enjoyed (or survived!). Road trips have been taken. Lists have been checked off and laid aside. You did it. That alone is worth celebrating.
One great thing about this week is the chance to use the post-holiday quiet to reflect on all that’s happened in the last 12 months. In a few days the world will dive into resolutions and plans for 2016 — places we want to see progress and aspirations we have for the year before us.
Let’s take a moment before we do. It’s easy to be so focused on the year ahead that we forget to stop and celebrate the gains we’ve made in the year that’s nearly behind us. Before the final days of 2015 pass us by, let’s take stock of all that you and your child have achieved this year.
There is a natural tendency to focus on the gap between what you believe your child is capable of and where they are today. It’s good to have high hopes for what your child can accomplish. The ongoing expectation of progress is an essential part of what will help your child reach their full potential.
But it’s important to celebrate the things that ARE going well. There’s no such thing as a small step on this LSL journey, or a small gain in Listening and Spoken Language outcomes for your child. Perhaps your child is now wearing a hearing aid all waking hours. That’s a big deal! Maybe you got over the hump of your baby no longer pulling out their hearing aids? That’s a significant step forward.
Below we’ve included a quick list of seemingly little things that we believe are very much worth celebrating. See if any of these benchmarks make your personal list:
- You got started in early intervention.
- Your child said their first word.
- Your child sang a song that you never taught them. That means they heard it somewhere else!
- Your child is now asking for their hearing aids to be put in.
- Family members now understand more about your child’s hearing loss — and are now on board with what you’re doing.
- Your child spent their first night away from you. Perhaps that means the grandparents are more comfortable with the hearing technology and feeling more confident to offer!
- You survived the transition from hearing aids to cochlear implants.
- You shared your story with a parent who’s just starting the journey.
These are just a few examples of LSL outcomes you may be celebrating this year. Add to this list and share what gains your family is celebrating today! Share your LSL breakthroughs — large or small — on social media and tag @hearingfirst so we can celebrate with you!
Use Facebook’s Timeline feature to remind yourself of any other benchmarks that you posted over the last year. If you post frequently, it’s like a digital photo album of your progress.
Soon enough it will be time for resolutions and setting our sights on even greater LSL outcomes for your child in 2016. Next month we’ll talk about ways to raise the bar and recommit to strategies that will help your child with hearing loss reach his or her new potential.
See you next year! (aka next month)