I was diagnosed with Mondini Syndrome, it’s a condition where the cochlea is incomplete, with only one and a half turns instead of the normal two and a half turns. Speech therapy helped with speaking the teachers were helpful and supportive. I was glad to be called down from class because elementary school was simpler. The teachers had me sit in front of the class that way I could hear what they said and these changes helped as I went through my education. I learned better and faster with my parent’s support.
Previously, my mother noticed that it would take longer for me to react to her voice compared to my twin sister. She would fuss assuming something was wrong, but my father presumed that I ignored them. It took longer for me to learn how to speak compared to my sister and I would pay attention to body language and the speaker’s mouth to comprehend how they felt and answered. This limitation improved my lip-reading and body language skills, reflecting makes me feel like a comic book character. They lose something but gain something else to compensate for the loss.
Thinking about hearing loss, I’m one of the lucky ones considering that I can hear. I learned about my condition when a teacher noticed all signs of hearing impairment. I’m embarrassed that my grades were terrible especially in English, placing me in remedial classes, but math was easier because the teacher wrote step-by-step. My grades improved after my diagnosis which did wonders for my confidence. The school provided help so that I could succeed and I was accommodated to be best that I could be.
Making friends was hard, I couldn’t understand what they were saying before I got the hearing aid. It helped me make my own rather than piggyback on my sisters. It affected my communication skills it’s hard to communicate with the right words. I don’t usually speak when I don’t need to because of this. On a positive note ironically I’m a great listener. They could be cruel though calling me teacher’s pet and other names because of the extra help I was receiving. I learned to ignore the insults because I didn’t want to be their friend and bullies weren’t worth my time.
I’m a great judge of character I know when someone is lying to me, and it helps to be less judgmental toward things I don’t understand. People don’t understand what it’s like to have impaired hearing, but even though it’s a disability it’s part of me, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I can proudly say that I don’t understand a lot of things and that’s okay because I can still learn. Learn and experience that’s all anyone can expect from a person.
Now in college, I’m glad to say that I don’t need two hearings aids anymore my hearing improved on one. People don’t notice my hearing aid and never imagine that I have hearing problems because of the fluidity of my speech. I can’t place where the sound originates, it’s a hassle when my parents call, and I go downstairs when they’re upstairs. I’ve been in trouble because I was “ignoring” someone when they were giving me direction especially during sports.
The prompt of this was to explain how my hearing loss affected my education. I like to think that education happens anywhere besides school, especially the best lesson. My life is school and my experiences are lessons I learn new skills and had help along the way to get me to where I am. From a naive elementary schooler to a college student this is who I am and there is no one I would rather be than myself.