Listen... I'm Speaking Part 2

Uploaded by PipelineMedia1 on 24.05.2011

Well a lot of decisions had to be made, I had a career on stage
and my husband too and that's how we earned our living, so one of us had to work.
My husband was... Chinese descent so
his English wasn't as perfect as mine so...
With a deaf child intonation and phrasing is so important, how you put that syntax and all of that in together.
So I decided to give up my career because she was profoundly deaf so there was no one I could sort of hand her to, or
and I wanted to hear her voice.
When you have a child
you so want to hear the sound of their voice, I don't know why that is so important
but you somehow don't know who they are
until they begin to speak and language.
I wanted to ask my mum to teach me
how to tie my shoelaces,
and of course this was before I had my cochlear implant
and my mum would... nod
and then she would be starting to tie my shoelaces together
and I'd be going, no, no, no, that's not what I meant and so I would undo my shoelaces and I wanted...
and I kept expressing to her that I want you teach me how to do them
and it was that very point where I actually realized that life was going to be hard for me because
for some reason people couldn't understand what I wanted to say or what I wanted them to do.
I found it very frustrating
I knew that there was something wrong with me but I did not know what that was
and my parents couldn't seem to explain it to me.
And every time when I was really frustrated I would have like long periods of time where I would just sulk.
She used to be head banging, you know, all that, and she's not like that at all.
No. No, and that was frustration... and she would
she knew it was frustration because, you know, they have intelligence inside and they know
what you're trying to get them to do, but you've misunderstood or they've misunderstood, so then it becomes
exhausting for all parties and they give up.
It took a long time because I had no effective communication
with my parents and therefore I was just kind of like alone in my own little world
and then my parents would eventually, like you know, ply me with a lolly, and then,
get me out of my little sulking moment, yes.
It was just very hard, very... black period in my life.
She, had a, I would call it a dark personality, that's what we thought.
And she got the implant and it was like... the sun came out
in her personality, yes absolutely.
Fairly dramatically? Dramatically. Was it? Yes.
I do remember that
all of a sudden like, I was kind of like...
Oh, OK
all of a sudden I could hear.
I remember that and then
somehow my brain just went oh, OK I can hear
Do di do di do and I started talking,
or not talking but I started babbling.
Very exciting process really in doing that and getting her switched on and then within...
you know, a couple of weeks she was just bla bla bla bla babbling, you know, doing the whole...
and people used to say what is she saying, I would say I don't care it's just coming.
I would say OK, before the Cochlear Implant I would say that I saw everything in black and white.
It was a factual thing that my mum went to the car turned the keys... put the car keys in turned it on.
It was a factual thing, but then I never realised that when I got into the car there was also a sound to it
and let's say that that colour was... grey
like it went with the car and all of a sudden...
things started to add on... meaning
and also when my brother went, with his truck he would go brrrrm...
I just thought he was going ....
and all of a sudden I could hear brrrm... and I would say that that sound was yellow or something like that.
Like, instead of seeing black and white as I did before, I started to see all the colours of the rainbow.
Well I think that we spent a lot of time learning not just being.
You know like learning, doing school and catching up and doing lessons and talking all the time.
So I never spent...I just never shut up and she used to go...
Stop... no more
you know because she was like... so you know when you've missed language for nearly, for four years then it is quite a catch up,
but look the implant allowed us to do that, amazing
and people don't have to do that now because they can be implanted so early.
Early diagnosis is probably one of the major leaps forward apart from the cochlear implant
that we can give a deaf child today.
William is my first born child and...
he was picked up on the newborn hearing screening when he was one day old
and didn't pass the screen and proceeded on and after I think he was four days old
we found out that he had profound hearing loss so
there was no family history, no known cause he's had a, been tested for a few different things so
he was eligible for a cochlear implant and then when he was
six-and-a-half months he received his first cochlear implant and then he was nearly nine months
and he received his second cochlear implant
and throughout that time after seeing Dimity when he was a few weeks old we enrolled
at the Hear and Say Centre in an auditory verbal program.
Have you ever played with a rocket before Mummy?
No I haven't Michelle. No, do you want to see it?
Mmm... it's very big, it's very, very big, here's my rocket.
Now let's have a look at what parts there are to the rocket, let's open the top part, where's the top part?
There's room for another astronaut, an astronaut beside that one.
Yes... we need an orange astronaut.
Say it again William.
Orange astronaut. Oh we need an orange astronaut,
here you go here's an orange one, good remembering that that was the other colour.
Oh, OK.
Ok, so they're ready to take off are they?
We were attending therapy every week initially but now we are fortnightly and
his speech, language, comprehension and development is... just amazing and...
too, all the assessments he's done compared to an age matched hearing child he's actually advanced
for his age in all those aspects.
It was in the box where it was.
Oh did you see it in my box before? Were you peeking?
Ooh... good job you heard it...
All of a sudden deaf is not deaf any more,
we've just got this new generation of children with hearing loss and significant hearing losses
who function like children with normal hearing.
People often will, you know, say to me that they just can't believe that, you know, he is deaf, so
it's really, really changed... his life and our lives
and it's just been absolutely wonderful.
Ninety three percent of Hear and Say children go to regular schools and stay there
and... they compare very favourably with their peers.
You can do anything you want to do and
you've just got to achieve your goal and just get to that goal and
work as hard as you can and, yeah...
and just have fun in life and just explore... and you know, just experience things.
Gina went to mainstream school and her first school was
Our Lady Of The Rosary, a Catholic co-ed school.
She was in a class with school mates age appropriate, she wasn't
she wasn't needing to go in later as a result of her hearing loss.
She did great at that school and then after that she moved to Saint Aden's, which is a
an all girls Anglican School and she's...
she's doing wonderfully.
I did one bee and the other five bees gone and
someone squished them.
In 2004, when we first visited students at Taralye and at Mount View Primary,
I was amazed at the results.
Their listening skills and language were excellent,
but I wanted to be sure this standard of speech could be maintained
once they entered mainstream schools
and no longer had access to regular training sessions.
So we revisited our students, six years later.
Every time a teacher asks me something and there's
too much noise around, I'd say can you, please repeat that.
And then she repeats it and I do what she says.
Oh good, and is there a noisy classroom?
It's pretty loud, 29 students.
We've actually just enrolled her, mainstream and when we went for the interview, the head of campus,
we were in his office for about 40 minutes and basically,
he spoke just to Kaila and not to us, he
wanted to just get as much information out of Kaila as he could,
and then at the end of the 40 minutes he said
do you have any questions and my husband said yes, did you know she was born profoundly deaf and he said,
he looked at his notes and he said... Oh my gosh she has got a Cochlear Implant
and he couldn't believe it so then he gave us the letter and said he would love to have her
at their school, so yeah, she is going mainstream and we couldn't be happier.
Scorpions are related to spiders, ticks and mites.
Box Hill High, Box Hill High?
Yes it's a very good school and I'm really enjoying it there.
I'm the only deaf person there so
Do they know that you've got a hearing problem? Yes
Does it make any difference? No not really...
I've found that the help that I got from Mount View
has improved my... ability to
listen normally, well like close to normally in the outside world
where I don't have help from my parents or from people who understand my deafness really well.
In fact he's moved on to secondary school
and is in a regular mainstream setting
with no additional teacher of the deaf support
and on top of that he's actually in an accelerated learning program. That's amazing. Mmm.
When I was nine months old
my mum and dad found out that I was deaf.
Well I think it's way better having an implant because you just...
because I wouldn't be able to hear I wouldn't be able to talk to people I wouldn't be able to...
to like, go to school and be able to put my hand up and...
just, I wouldn't be able to do anything, I'll just sit down and just... not talk pretty much.
Which would be a handicap, for young people. Is it nice to switch it off sometimes?
Um... Yes, when I'm going to sleep and when
there's rain and storms and stuff, it's great. I see. Yes and...
When mum says, if I get older and have a husband and he snores really loud and I'll be able to turn off
my ears off... so that's probably the best thing yeah.
To tell the truth I didn't really, didn't realize that
today she would be the way she is
when we first decided to get the implant.
Aimee, I mean as you know, she speaks really, really well and...
you know, I just would never look back now and not have it done,
she's know, what she can do with her life now is, you know, no limits.
In 2008 is when I went to India and I went to the Cochlear Implant Clinic there and
I met some of the parents there and I think
one of the parents went really emotional because, she's got a little four year old daughter
that was deaf as well and she's got the same cochlear implant and everything
and the mother got really emotional and she came over and talked to me for half an hour.
Just saying, what's life like is school good and everything because she wanted to know.
She was really emotional and I thought don't worry, you know...
your child will be like me and she's like, yes we'll hope that
and I said, she will be able to, she will be able to talk she will be able to like...
hear other people and she was like, she started to cry and I was like...
I started to cry too because, it was really emotional.
It's very exciting to think that we can help deaf people all around the world
just as we have with the children we've seen here.
These deaf children have blossomed into confident, capable individuals
looking ahead to a bright future
in which they can contribute socially and economically to our community.
Yes an intelligent young boy like Jack,
may realistically become a lawyer and no one need ever know he is deaf.
These children may have a disability
but they've shown it doesn't have to be an impediment.
They were all born full of promise
and I suspect, they'll keep that promise.