Victoria Olea, "The more you know, the more confident you will feel about your child’s future."
Aiden Aiden & Natalee
The news of expecting a child was exciting to me and even more knowing I was having a boy. I pictured a mama’s boy who always wanted to be around me, who was smart and handsome. My whole life changed after Aiden was born in 2006. I wanted to be the best mother I could possibly be. I had read many books on parenting and what to expect of a newborn and how to raise a child. Six years later, I never thought I would become a strong advocate for parents and families who have children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
At 17 months old, Aiden was identified deaf and I was told no services were available for deaf children, so I left without any resources and with many unanswered questions. I began my journey with my child and wanted to communicate with my son so I began learning American Sign Language. Shortly after I was connected with wonderful people who help guide me in a path I never thought I would be in.
When Aiden was three, we celebrated and welcomed into the world our second child Natalee, who is a lot like her brother. She was identified deaf since birth and I feel blessed to have a boy and a girl who are very intelligent, loving, beautiful children. I have challenged myself to learn as much as I can about the variety of hearing levels and the choices that are available for children. Being a trilingual mother is not easy, but my reward will be my children’s success.
My advice to parents is to play an active role in your child’s life. Don’t be afraid of asking too many questions and becoming educated.The more you know, the more confident you will feel about your child’s future.
Meet other families who have a deaf or hard of hearing children in your area or even online. You are not alone.
Explore your options and don’t worryabout which educational approach will be the best. With parental involvement and love your child will be successful. It is important for a child to understand the concept of language no matter what approach is used. Find out what will work for your child and your family and once you move forward you will start to see possibilities rather than limitations.
Looking back I know my life is not exactly how I planned, and I know life will have its challenges, but we will overcome them as a family and continue to move forward.
Contact Victoria at firstname.lastname@example.org