CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

The Silent Child has shone a light on the issues around deaf children

15 March, 2018

• THE Oscar-winning short live action film The Silent Child has shone a light on the issues facing parents when they find out that their child is deaf.

Seventeen years ago my parents found themselves in this situation as I was born profoundly deaf. Like Maisy in the film, I can’t hear anything. My parents had no prior experience with deafness and so were distraught and afraid for my future.

They thought that I would never hear my mother’s voice. They thought that I would never be able talk. They thought that I would have to use sign language and attend a special school.

They thought that I would find it hard to make friends and that my adult life would be very limited. Never in their wildest dreams could they have imagined that I would be where I am today.

Learning sign language is only one of the options for deaf children. Many people are surprised to learn that profoundly deaf children can learn to listen and speak.

Thanks to a cochlear implant and three years of Auditory Verbal therapy when I was young my speech is indistinguishable from my hearing friends. I am currently studying A-levels and plan to study history at Durham University.

My deafness has not got in the way of doing anything I want. I was lucky. My parents found Auditory Verbal UK. It is vital we raise awareness of the language skills deaf children can achieve with support so that parents can make an informed choice about the right communication method for their child.

JAMES CURTIS
NW6

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