Telling Pippa's siblings about her hearing lossPublished Date: 29 Jun 2023
Me and my partner Liam have four children (aged between 11 and 15) between us from previous relationships. The thought of telling them about Pippa's hearing loss was a bit of a worry for us, not because we thought they would react badly but more because they might be upset. I was worried about how we would hold it together too as the news was a big shock to us and we were still coming to terms with it ourselves.
We decided to tell them after dinner one night, keeping it pretty basic and factual. We let them know that we had taken Pippa for hearing tests at the hospital and that the audiologist found that Pippa wasn’t able to hear us. We explained what we knew and told them that she would need hearing aids and these should help her to hear us all. Our audiologist had given us some of the graphs which explain the different levels of sound and a diagram of the inner ear, so we used those to help us explain her levels of hearing to them. These were really helpful as they gave a visual explanation of what was going on. We said not to treat her any differently to how they had been and to continue to talk, sing and play with her in the same way.
Their reactions were mainly concern for Pippa and what this meant for her. We told them to ask us any questions they had, and if we didn't know the answer, then we would find out. They’ve been amazing and haven't treated her any differently. They’ve been eager to learn sign language, and they’re all conscious of when situations may become overwhelming for Pippa. It’s lovely to think that Pippa has four more people on her team looking out for her!