"What do you do when this stretches out for the rest of your life?" commented Dr. Phil on his show today featuring the Hooker family with triplets who are deaf blind. The first half of the show gave viewers a peek into the daily life of caring for the three of them every day. Diapers, special pajamas that zip up in the back, head rocking, temper tantrums and drinks that end up on the floor. The daily struggle of trying to build up language while simply trying to survive through the day.
As I watched the show, I found myself thinking about the sheer amount of work it takes to try and communicate with three young ones using tactile sign. I noticed that one triplet had a cochlear implant, so I'm sure the family's life includes visits to the audiologist on a regular basis for mappings. One child who is deaf blind is a challenge; three requires some daily outside help to keep your own strength going. It's no wonder the family's mental resources were tested to the limit.
Dr. Phil brought on Jennifer Rothschild, author of Lessons I Learned in the Dark to inspire the family. Jennifer became blind a the age of fifteen. While her story was inspiring, I really felt that Dr. Phil could have made a greater impact by bringing on an adult who was deaf blind. Brian Hubbard, for example, is a psychotherapist who happens to be deaf blind and an inspirational speaker as well.
Perhaps as a result of this show, the Hooker family will be able to connect with other families raising children who are deaf blind and adults who are deaf blind.
For a summary of the show, go here: Triplets Who Are Deaf Blind.