A Hearing Loss & Late Deafened Blog

The Trouble with Hearing Loss Memes

In advocating on September 26, 2017 at 10:09 pm

I look for hearing loss memes to post on our work Facebook page. Some are funny, some are true and some are way off base.  Let’s take a look at memes.

This happens all the time with people who have hearing loss and there’s a variety of reasons. We can sense the other person’s agitation and we still didn’t hear it so we nod and let it go. Or someone is in deep denial still and afraid to admit they can’t hear.

There are a few fixes. One, we ask the other person to rephrase instead of saying “what” or “huh” a third time. We can repeat the parts we heard and ask them to repeat only the words we didn’t hear. If the other person doesn’t know we have a hearing loss, we can start being upfront about it and hopefully their agitation goes down. We can also chose to make these learning experiences for the hearing person. Hearing aids don’t correct hearing like glasses do for vision.

HL meme11

Wrong! They are called hearing ‘aids’ for a reason, otherwise they’d be called hearing miracles.

My high frequency hearing loss prevents me from hearing some consonants so conversations are like the wheel of fortune. Let the other person know that gesturing aids communication or have them use the ASL alphabet to finger spell the word.

HL meme 2

Excuse my language but this one bugs the shit out me. Yelling and shouting does not help most people with hearing loss. Plus, its in the ear (decibel damage there) and the person is not facing me. I hear with my eyes and my ears. Yelling in my ear or at me will only piss me off.  I will reach out, put both my hands on each side of your face and have you face me. That’s the correct way to communicate.

Hold everything! This might be funny to hearing people but let me tell you there are huge mistakes in communication here. You cannot talk to us like normal hearing people, it’s setting us both up communication for complete failure so you too need to change your ways. Number one, get my attention before you start speaking. Number two, be sure you face me so I can see what you are saying too.

For the hard of hearing people; tell the hearies in you life to face you. Be upfront about your hearing loss and your needs. Don’t just say “I’m hard of hearing,” tell people what you need to facilitate communication. Ask for a booth or a corner table at a restaurant to help block out some noise. Make sure your hearing aids have a program for noisy situations (the program should drop the noise level a few notches and have microphones on focus forward). Sit in well lit areas so you can see what’s being said even if you don’t think you lipread.

HL meme 7

Turn up your hearing aid! He said, “your money or your life,” not your money or your wife.

Um, how is he supposed to “hear” through a mask? I’m sure he uses lipreading with his remaining hearing. Volume will not help, lipreading and proper enunciation makes a big diffidence.  Does the guy with hearing loss know how hears, does his wife? Have they been properly educated about his hearing loss? Do they know hearing aids don’t replace true hearing? I’m thinking they don’t.

There is something to this one. What I heard compared to what was said is often a lot more fun! As long as we both have a sense of humor, it’s lots of fun. Go with it and laugh.  Another round please waiter!

Hearing aids pick up all kinds of noise, not just speech and it can be awful. It will make me clench my teeth so hard I can’t concentrate anymore. Maybe we had too much noise all day and we just need a break. Or we were lipreading for hours and need to rest the brain which brings me to…

HL meme 5

It is so much work and so tiring. If I’m already tired, there’s no way I can keep up so please excuse me from certain social activities at this point. I’ve learned my limit.

HL meme 12

Don’t we wish! Why did hear that and not that? I don’t know but it’s not selective hearing I promise you that. Maybe good acoustics help or the rotten acoustics wrecked my hearing. Maybe I was looking at you and maybe I wasn’t. Maybe you enunciated better than usual or your mumbled. There are so many variables when it comes to hearing loss.

HL meme9

Without captions or a hearing loop I can’t hear you in certain situations. If you want to include me and other hard of hearing people then please accommodate us, and we’re happy to go out to those lectures, pep rallies and workshops. Otherwise you get “what” and we feel isolated in a crowd.

Hearing loss still has too many misconceptions. There’s still a lot of educating to do and our job is to correct them. If you are hard of hearing please advocate for yourself because when you do, you educate the hearies. Figure out what is is you need to hear, state it and stand by it. We all deserve it.

Hearies, it takes too to make communication work. Do your part too because we did not chose hearing loss, hearing loss chose us.

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The Gift

In deaf, Deafness, Hearing Loss on September 23, 2017 at 12:56 pm

SayWhatClub (SWC) is pleased to welcome guest writer and SWCer Elaine Procida who shares the story of her childhood hearing loss and a special someone who helped return to her what she feared was lost forever.

He's writing your copy or you!

By Elaine Procida

When I was four years old, I seemed to have a lot going for me. A happy, well adjusted child with a love for people and learning, I had been enrolled in pre-school where I quickly became the teacher’s pet. But I was totally unaware that, even while I was feeling so happy, that something had happened that would soon change my life.

My preschool teacher noticed that when she called me I sometimes did not respond. She asked my mother if there was anything wrong with my hearing, but my mother had not noticed the problem that was developing. By the time I was in first grade, my personality was already showing the effects of the invisible disability which had not yet been diagnosed. I began to realize I was different from the other children but did not understand how or why.

No longer a “happy child.” I felt confused and nervous.

A hearing test at that time revealed that I had a severe hearing loss, and so I started my “non-school” years. Mostly ignored by teachers and students, angry and confused, I felt happy only when I could escape to the books I loved to read. I educated myself by reading which helped to compensate for the lessons I did not hear. Back in the 1950’s when I was in school, special help for the hard of hearing child was largely nonexistent. The few services they did provide, such as having a special desk for me placed in front of the room, only served to reinforce my feelings that I was different and somehow inferior. No one ever sat down and just talked to me about my hearing loss and what I could expect.

I remember many painful experiences but I will mention just one as an example.

We were having a special day in school where we were permitted to bring a favorite toy to class. A class-mate had a large doll. Because my desk was larger than the others she asked if I would switch with her for the day so she would have more room to keep her doll on it. I was delighted that someone thought I had something desirable, and was happy to let her use it. We approached the teacher and asked for permission. I can still
remember the look on the teacher’s face. Ignoring me, she turned to the other girl and said crossly, “You sit at your own desk! There is nothing wrong with your ears.” I turned away with tears in my eyes and what should have been a happy day turned into another miserable one.

The school always divided each class into three groups. The slowest, average, and smartest. Even with my hearing loss, I never failed a test and was always seated with the average students. But I wanted so badly to be with the best – feeling somehow that was where I belonged.

As I approached my last year of elementary school, I had no reason to believe it would be any better than the previous years. Rather, I had good reason to fear it would be worse! The teacher we were assigned for sixth grade had a reputation for being strict and harsh. Along with every other student assigned to Miss Singer’s class, I feared her. She was already past retirement age, and we were all hoping she would retire before we had her but, to our dismay, she decided to stay another year.

After a few weeks in Miss Singer’s class, I found, to my surprise, that I was much happier there than I had been in any previous class. She had never, in any way, indicated that she knew I had a hearing loss. On the first day of school she seated us according to our height. Since I was on the small side, I was assigned to the second seat. It was actually better for me than the hated “front” seat. It seemed that when she taught us she would always be standing or sitting where I could easily read her lips and I had no problem keeping up with the lessons. I was probably in her class several months before I found out that she was very much aware or my hearing loss. The class had displeased her somehow and she lashed out at them. Then she turned to me and said: “If Elaine had her hearing, she would be head and shoulders above most of you.” I was speechless! Miss
Singer not only knew I had a hearing loss, but she was the first person to tell me that, far from being worthless, I was as good as the other students.

On the last day of school, I met her in the schoolyard. She put her arm around me and told me she was concerned about me going off to Junior High School. I could see that this wonderful teacher, with so many years of teaching behind her, wished she could continue to be with me. When I entered Junior High, I found that the new school also grouped the students in three classes. But this time I was assigned to the best “A” class. I
knew then that Miss Singer was still with me and that she had given me a priceless gift. She had given me back my belief in myself.

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How to Talk to a Lipreader

In deaf, Deafness, Hearing Loss, Lip Reading, Speech Reading on August 31, 2017 at 10:38 am

By Michele Linder

I’m teaching my granddaughter how to talk to me… I’ve been doing it from the beginning, but now that she’s older, and getting ready to start school, I’m seeing the benefits of it more.

Yesterday she spoke to me from the backseat of the car, so naturally I looked at her in the rearview mirror. As she held up a flashlight that Pops had given her, she said “This flashlight turns ________.” 

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I saw her lips move, but just couldn’t get that last word, so my brain ran through the list of possibilities and nothing was right. I finally got it! GREEN. “This flashlight turns green.”

I then reminded her that she could give me more information, if I’m not getting it the first time, and that a better way might have been to say, “This flashlight turns the color green.”

She thought about it.

Later, I asked her what she had had to eat that day, as it was getting late and neither of us had eaten lunch. She told me she had eaten “One egg, three slices of bacon, and a ________.” 

Again, I wasn’t getting it. The word on her lips looked similar to bagel, but that wasn’t it.  And just like that, she said “I had a mango, it’s a piece of fruit.”, and I got it. 

Sometimes getting difficult words on the lips is that simple… use more describing words. 

Of course, it occurs to me if we knew more sign language or could cue speech my granddaughter could give me additional clues. You might see pictures of my granddaughter’s hands in a future post. 🙂