My Girl Scout cookie order arrived today. Yippee! And March 13 to April 15 is Deaf History Month. You might think these two things have nothing in common. You might be wrong. Let me explain...
The founder of Girl Scouts was none other than Juliette Low. What is extra special about Juliette Low? She was deaf. You also may not know that my daughter L is HOH (hard of hearing) and will likely lose all of her hearing in the future. In our house sign language and hearing aids are cool!!
Did you know that most hearing aids can come in any color a kid wants, even tie dye? L chose pink for both her main component and ear mold but she has already decided that the next ear mold will be green. That way it will stand out more and everyone can see how cool it is!
In honor of Juliette Low and her Girl Scout cookies, I made up this fun little snack.
You will need a box of Somoas. Actually I suggest 2, one for the hearing aids and one to nibble on while making the hearing aids. I also had a bag of gummy bugs. Pictured here is a worm and a snail. I also used a sharp knife.
First cut your cookie in half and then flip it over so only the chocolate side is showing. Next, cut your worm in half lengthwise, so it is long and skinny. Last cut a hole in the snail big enough to fit the worm through and squeeze a little side piece out to resemble the mold. Now assemble. Put one end of worm into the snail hole and then get the other end a tiny bit wet so that it's sticky and stick it to the cookie. Voila!
Sadly there are not enough children's books out there covering the topic of being HOH or deafness. We do love this one put out by Phonak, the makers of L's hearing aid.
I don't think this book can be purchased anywhere but a similar one that you can get is Cosmo Gets and Ear. This story walks a child through getting a hearing aid and the differences from before to after.
Here are a few reminders when talking to your child about deafness.
- Deaf people are just as smart as hearing people.
- Don't assume someone is ignoring you or unfriendly, it is possible they just can't hear you.
- Some HOH or deaf people rely on sign language, others read lips, some have hearing aids or cochlear implants. There is no right or wrong way to communicate, it is individual preference.
- The majority of people with HOH or deaf can physically do anything a hearing person can. The exceptions can be when individuals have a diagnosis like L where a head injury can lead to futher hearing loss or where vistibular problems cause balance issues.
- "Are you deaf?" or "What's wrong with you?" are not the best questions when you suspect someone has hearing loss. Try "Are you hearing me ok?" and do your best to make eye contact.
A special thank you to Mary Beth from Nothing But Country for helping me with some of my terminology. Every day is a learning experience for me :)