I met Sara Kennedy several years ago when I first joined the board of Hands & Voices. I knew I liked this hip mom from the beginning, as she was also a homebirth mom. Sara wrote a beautiful article about the delicate dance of language and communication and I wanted to share it with my readers:
Not so long ago, I looked down at a 14 month old toddler in my lap after learning that she could not hear. Those intense blue eyes confounded me – did I know her? Did she know me? Communication as I had known it halted altogether. Sara Madeleine became again, in my fear of the unknown, the little stranger that she had been to me on her first day of life, before we started the dance of learning to know one another. Like most parents, I don’t think I heard another word the audiologists said after “your daughter has a profound hearing loss.”
As a health care provider, what surprised me next was that it was up to us, as parents, to decide how we wanted to communicate with her. There weren’t reams of double blind randomized controlled trials to tell us that a majority of children learned to read and write well or to speak or to become CEO’s with this or that method. It was up to us, a couple who couldn’t yet define otoacoustic emissions or knew anything about the oppression of Deaf people in history… to choose Maddie’s first language.
To read Sara's full article go here: The Dance of Language.