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The routine we use to help with Isaac's hearing fatigue

Published Date: 07 Oct 2021

Boy outside with helmet on

Isaac is an extremely active boy, who will never admit to being tired. It’s partly to do with his age and partly to do with his personality, he’d never ask to go for a lie down or take his processors off. When Isaac gets tired, he gets frustrated, emotional and sometimes even more hyperactive. Hearing fatigue affects his everyday life and so it’s so important for us to keep him in a healthy routine.

It’s taken a long time for us to realise how to manage Isaac’s hearing fatigue and, even now, we don’t always get it right. One of the most important things we need to remember is that he isn’t the same as other children his age. It’s easy to get disheartened when we talk to other parents and hear about their children’s after-school clubs and busy schedules. Isaac needs a good routine which factors in rest and early nights, without that he can become a really unhappy little boy, which in turn affects our whole family.

When Isaac is at school, I always make sure I collect him armed with snacks and give him plenty of chill-out time when he gets home. I try to encourage him to sit and play with Lego, or other toys, but sometimes he just wants to sit on his iPad playing Minecraft, which is OK too. He has always been an early riser (6.30am is a lie-in!), so we always make sure he’s in bed as close to 6.30pm as possible. He loves reading and looking at books so has a bath around 5.30pm followed by a few books and bed. He's usually flat out by 7pm but, if he’s had a particularly stressful or busy day, he can be tossing and turning until 9pm, exhausted but unable to switch-off.

Most people think I’m crazy, but I plan all school holidays out in advance. Isaac isn’t the type of child who thrives from ‘going with the flow’ and I want us to all enjoy it, so I find that planning our weeks around his needs gives us the best chance of keeping sane and having lots of fun. I make sure we have one busy day out a week to one of his favourite places like the Dinosaur Park or BeWILDerwood, followed by a morning at home as he will be exhausted. I also make sure we go to lots of quiet places which both of my children will enjoy, they love being outside in forests and at the beach. I buy lots of crafts and sensory play we can all do at home together, to make our quiet days more bearable.

As Isaac is getting older it’s becoming easier to manage his routine, he can cope with doing a bit more and can also recognise when he needs some rest. We’re really lucky that his school are supportive and understand his needs, he gets quiet time and sensory breaks during the day which really help him.

All children strive off of routine, especially deaf children. The exhaustion of listening in loud, busy places is a lot for a deaf child. For us, keeping our son in the best routine possible, factoring in quiet sensory breaks, is the best way to keep the whole family happy.

Esme

Esme is mum to Isaac who wears cochlear implants. Isaac was born with a progressive hearing loss which deteriorated to profound when he was two years old, he was implanted when his baby brother was eight weeks old. Esme and her family live in the Norfolk countryside and try their best to make the most of every day. They spend a lot of time outside, exploring the woods and the beach and Esme ran the London Marathon for NDCS last year!