When I was just a baby, my mother and father found out that, I had a hole in my heart, the term used so often called a heart murmur. Shortly, I was rushed into surgery to repair the hole in the heart. Surgery went well. However, I still need it to be monitored until I was out of danger. Three years went by; my parents took me to the doctor and received devastating news that I have mild to moderate hearing loss; otherwise, I was perfectly a healthy baby. Naturally, I wore two behind the ear brand called widex hearing aids that requires mold impression regularly. Soon after, receiving my hearing aids, I began attending a special education class for the deaf and hard of hearing until the fourth grade. Though, drawbacks were very visible, for example, having to move from school to school so they can accommodate kids like us who are either deaf or hard of hearing and the lack of education received in both special education and a regular class setting.

The adventure of attending a special education class for the deaf and hard of hearing has some benefits and some negative ones too. Almost every school year, we would be in different school and never in one place. I am constantly having difficult time in adjusting with the school shift. Often, I have a hard time making friends that will accept me being hearing impaired. I recalled being in class with at least five students ranging from three to twelve years and two teachers. It was a small size class atmosphere. As being hard of hearing student, I remembered my teachers taught us sign language so I can communicate with my fellow classmates was one of the benefits. In addition, I recollected that many normal hearing students looked at us as if we were freaks and do not belong with them. There is this one particular memory, I often referred back on my time, how I participated in Softball Olympic Tournament at the elementary school with the regular kids, and knowingly, I scored a third place prize. Nevertheless, the coach did not acknowledge us being part of the team is one of the negative factors. Oh, I cried that very night. I complained about my lack of hearing and asked why I was so different from the other kids to my mother. Another benefit, I really enjoyed every summer, my classmates and I would go swimming at the junior and high school. I loved every bit of it. My classmate and I hung out with other students like us and not so like us. On that note, we attended classes there and had the opportunity to join the wood shop on campus. Even though, I was young and naive, I loved going to wood shop at the junior and high school. It is there that we had the opportunity to make stuffs, for instance, like hanging keys wood shaped like a key with three tilted nails, leather bound purses and bracelets. Consequently, each year we change schools as well lose students who I have grown very fond of and to never hear from them again. Lastly, I do not know what other kids like me go through when transitioning into the new school year. Although, I became very lonely and not enjoying the class all due to my hearing, and the environment around me.

Education has been a very touchy subject for me in the past. Looking back and realized how very little preparation was done to gear me in for higher education. The special education for deaf and hard of hearing consisted in how the importance to pronounce our words, very light transitional reading with the additional sounding out the words, the understanding of math and social science. I reminisced on several occasions, I have had the opportunity to join others regular kids who are one or two math grades in advance. During that time, I loved math at one point and now math is something, I tend to put off. I am amazed how I scuffle when doing reports and research papers throughout my education. Eventually, I began attending regular elementary school and there was no one like me as a hard of hearing student. I was scared and new to the school. More importantly, the education, I received is far different from what I was taught. Again, I needed to retrain or adjusted myself to their standard. I tried to take what I learned from the special education tools and incorporated it somehow. Nevertheless, the tools given was short lived and I had to forget what I knew, and start all over again. I barely managed to pass my level with very little help. Also, the school supplies back then were very limited and only made it worse not just to me but other kids as well. To sum up, I recognized that the types of learning methods given by teachers might have contributed to my failures as well as how the school system was structure at that time.

Currently, I still struggle with my hearing when attending classes in college. Two major things, I struggle while attending school is my reduction in hearing and class notes. For example, I attempted to take notes while listening to the professor. I begin writing and then I somehow miss a few words or examples, and before I know it, I am loss in what the professor said. Now, these days are difficult to find someone with good writing and listening skills, and willing to take notes for me. As a result, I am constantly relying on the student to be there and take notes. Sometimes, the student often misses class and put me in an awkward position. Consequently, I am in acceptance of my continuous decline hearing will always affect my effort of doing well in school.  In summary, I gathered that I will need to be more aware of who I pick as my note taker for the duration of my schooling and request that the professor can either speak slowly or repeat his or her lecture, so I may have ample time to jog my notes, and questions to ask.

Finally, I am in full pursuit to obtain a better education; subsequently, I will need to be more attentive in asking for help occasionally due to my profound loss of hearing will always be an ongoing battle.

 

Balinder’s Story: Hearing Impaired Interfere with My Education
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