The recent revelations about how people have been mistreated in the ‘Hollywood industry’ either did the Oscars no good, or drew in viewers keen to see what would happen on the night. Surely though, very few were surprised by what’s been going on. Even though we don’t take an interest in the ceremony we were delighted with the success of ‘The Silent Child’. We’ve only read a bit about the film but it’s bound to promote deaf awareness, so, huge thanks to all involved.
So there we were chatting about ‘deaf stuff’, the film and someone we know who’s awaiting an MRI scan after being told she might have Meniere’s without hearing loss. Unfortunately our friend got roughly the same sort of diagnosis and preparation for the future that Sue did – a few pamphlets and a mispronunciation of Meniere’s. Naturally, if we can help, we will.
Still, that’s not what this blog is about. While talking about the film Sue stumped me by saying our relationship has changed since she ‘started’ Meniere’s. Took me a few moments to gather my thoughts before asking, “how?”
Her reply, “we communicate differently now.”
As far as I’m concerned our relationship hasn’t changed at all. Not one bit. Okay, I ‘put’ what I want to say differently now. But that’s all. The emotions and feelings are the same even if some things take longer to communicate and we always need lighting to ‘talk’. For me, though, it’s the content and not the methodology of communication that’s important.
I guess I can understand what Sue meant and I know for some folks a family member losing their hearing presents major, almost insurmountable, problems when it comes to communicating. At first. Just change the way you put across what you want to say. It’s that simple. The changes will entail a joint learning commitment and may, or will, present problems for people at each end of the aging process. But if you care about someone who’s lost hearing, then it’s not hard to make that commitment.
BSL signing is obviously wider used than family invented signs, but if a made up sign works for the short term then why not, at least it’s including a non-hearing person. Share the learning process if possible, inclusion is a huge plus when someone loses their hearing, please don’t leave anyone out of family chatter if possible. For anyone who may think that is an insurmountable task, just think how you’d feel if you were cut off from those around you.
Apologies if I seem preachy.