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Trusting your gut

Published Date: 03 Dec 2020

Family photo of two parents and four children outside by a lake.

When we become parents/carers, we suddenly have to make choices and decisions on behalf of someone else. These children are now our responsibility and we need to take care of them. For some of us it comes naturally, for others it’s a very steep learning curve. However, at some point, all of us have faced a decision that we’ve found very difficult to make.

When your child was first diagnosed with d/Deafness, you might have felt overwhelmed with information, lots of internet sites and people’s opinions. Thankfully, the National Deaf Children’s Society with their informed choice policy, helped us in this situation by providing unbiased information in an easy to understand way. Using this information, my family along with yours, have made decisions about the use of hearing technology, communication methods and lots of other things.

However, this year we’ve found ourselves adrift in the unknown. In March 2020, throughout the UK, schools closed, communities locked down and people became isolated from each other due to the global pandemic. There’s no precedent for making the decisions we now face, so how do we know what to do?

You have to trust your gut or use your instinct.

We know our children, our families and our own circumstances best. While it’s beneficial to read information and watch the news to a certain extent – remember this is all unknown territory. So, we must listen to our inner feelings.

There are new things to consider. How can we arrange extra communication support at school? How can we increase Deaf Awareness for schools and groups communicating with your child remotely? Maybe you have other considerations like chronically ill, disabled or elderly family members to influence your decision.

The basis for your decisions will lie with keeping your family safe, prioritising social support and relationships and protecting your mental health. Remember that your decisions might be different to your neighbours or even to someone else in your family, but if you have considered the circumstances, then you should trust your gut.

Sara

Sara and her husband James live in Northern Ireland and are parents to Sam (14), Matthew (12), Oliver (10) and Charlotte (8). Charlotte is profoundly Deaf and wears bilateral cochlear implants, communicating with a mix of speech and BSL. Sara blogs about her experiences on Facebook as 'Deaf Princess' and Twitter @DeafPrincessNI and is leading the 'Sign Language for All' project.