Journey of a parent of a hearing impaired child

My name is Babli and my son’s name is Arpan. Arpan was born on 26th May 2011. At the time of birth we did not know that he was hearing impaired. When Arpan was six months old all the family members felt that something was wrong. Arpan was not responding to our voices and also to the music that was played. Even when we played the music loud he would not respond. Six months passed like this as we had no knowledge about hearing impairment and due to this we lost a lot of time. Many people told us that we should not worry as there are many children who speak late and react late to sounds or voices. When Arpan was one year old we did not see any improvement in his listening and responding. Then we went to AIIMS – All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. There they conducted a hearing test and told that Arpan is hearing impaired. Doctor recommended us to get a hearing aid put for Arpan. Arpan had profound hearing loss (Greater than 90 dbs).We immediately got the hearing aid. During this period someone told us about SUNIYE. We decided to take Arpan to Suniye and start his speech therapy. The hearing aid was not of much use to Arpan and he was still not able to hear properly. He was aware of sounds, but was not able to comprehend the sound and therefore did not respond to the sounds.

After coming to Suniye, he started his therapy with Sarita Madam. Initially a lot of work was done on his auditory skills to develop his ability to hear. Arpan slowly started responding to the sounds and after few sessions he started saying small words. When he spoke the first word our family was very happy and we felt that actually today a child has taken birth in the family in the true sense. Slowly he learnt names of family members and would call out to all of them. Again hearing and speech were not optimum with the hearing aid as the hearing aid was not able to help him hear adequately. Arpan’s loss was profound so the doctors advised for a Cochlear Implant. At the age of three years Arpan had his Cochlear Implant in the left ear. After the Cochlear Implant Arpan continued coming to Suniye. Arpan was hearing very well and responded well to the therapy. By now Arpan developed a good vocabulary and could name people and things around him. Arpan could talk to his family members and also to people in the neighbourhood. As Arpan improved in his speech and communication skills with the continuous efforts of the teachers in Suniye, we thought of talking to a mainstream school nearby for his admission to the nursery. To our surprise the school was very helpful and readily gave admission in the nursery. Arpan enjoyed being with other children and started participating in all activities in school.

He is six and half years old now studying in Class 1 and is doing well. The teachers are very happy with his progress. He is also happy in the school and tries hard to learn new concepts. We meet the teachers regularly and get an update of the work done so that we can work on the concepts at home. The teachers tells us that Arpan tries to talk to his classmates and has many friends. He knows the names of all teachers and his class mates. He calls all his friends by their name. Every day he shares all the work done at school and also about other things that happen in school with us.

We are really thankful to Suniye from helping Arpan and us to reach this stage and will continue coming to Suniye for their support.

A Teacher’s Journey

My journey as a language teacher in Suniye has been very good. My teaching career started with working as a teacher in a private school at the Nehru Academy. While I was working there I got married and discontinued working, as the school was very far. I missed my work and wanted to get back to teaching. It is during this time that I got to know about a Nursery Teachers Training Course (NTT) . I immediately joined the course which was for two years. After completing the course, I worked at the IIT nursery school for 6 months. Here I worked with very young mainstream children. I enjoyed my work and loved being with children. While I was working at the IIT nursery school my supervisor from the NTT institute told me about SUNIYE and its requirement of a language teacher. I wanted to know about Suniye so I visited the organization and met the supervisor. Work sounded challenging but it interested me. So I decided to join Suniye.

In the beginning I found it very difficult to work with the children as they had hearing loss which made communication difficult with them. There was a delay in speech and language due to the loss. I used all my TLM I made for my nursery class to teach children which really helped. I was given certain skills by the speech therapist to work with these children. The children were like any other child but required intensive speech and language therapy for helping them to hear and speak. The work was very different from my previous work and required great amount of effort and planning. Each child’s loss was different and each child’s intervention was also different. But I was determined to work with them and bring about a positive change in the child’s life. Slowly I learnt the skills and formed a good rapport with the children which made it very easy for me to work with children. Around this time I got a job offer from a Govt school. All my family members wanted me to join the Govt. job as it has many facilities. I was very confused and discussed this with the supervisor at Suniye. She just told me one thing that at Suniye you are imparting skills to children who are struggling and are unable to be part of the mainstream. Very few teachers will ever get this kind of opportunity. I went back home and thought about it and decided to stay on. My family was also with me in this decision. I get a lot of satisfaction in working at Suniye as its just not about teaching them, it is also about helping to build their self confidence and self esteem. It is really heartening to see our children join the mainstream schools and become independent. Now the aim of my life is to help more and more hearing impaired children to speak, hear and read and become a contributing member of the society. I feel blessed being a part of Suniye support school for hearing impaired children.

Services provided by the Suniye.

  1. Hearing test by paying a nominal fee
  2. Regular counselling session for parents
  3. Training of parents to work with their children.
  4. Maintenance and repair facility of hearing aids.
  5. Provide aided and unaided audiogram
  6. Individual and group therapy for children.