Contagious Communication

1

When Sanjana Devi was little over a year old, her father noticed that she was not responding to any sounds made by her toys, and just stared at people when they were trying to talk to her. He then suspected that it could be a hearing problem so he took her to a private hospital in Mangaldoi, Assam. He was then referred to the Guwahati Medical College for a proper audiological test.

Sanjana was given a hearing aid during an SSA camp, but refused to wear it on a regular basis because it made her uncomfortable. Her family also had no idea what supplementary training was needed along with the hearing aid to help little Sanjana decipher the cacophony of sounds that the hearing aid amplified. They then heard about VAANI through another mother of a deaf child and began to make regular visits.

It has been only one month since they have been attending sessions at the VAANI outreach Center in Dikshruti at Kahilipara. Sanjana’s parents have quickly realised that the hearing aid needs to be calibrated based on Sanjana’s level of hearing loss. She then slowly got more comfortable with wearing the hearing aid and began to make the best use of it.

My daughter picked up 40 signs in the first session. After attending this session, she became very enthusiastic about learning more. When I told her that there were small variations in the signs she learnt here at VAANI with what was taught in her school, she explained to me that it was similar and persuaded me to learn all that was taught in the VAANI Centre. When she went home, she asked her mother to list a few words, the signs of which she did not know. In the following session she learnt them all in the Centre from the teacher Uma. At home she also keeps teaching her father the signs that she picks up.” – Says Sanjana’s Mother

With a heightened level of interest Sanjana and her parents have now progressed immensely in communicating with each other. Her enthusiasm and ability to learn so much and so quickly has had a contagious effect on her parents. They too have been inspired to learn signs and improve their communication skills to better understand and support their daughter.

In the final analysis, isn’t this what it is all about? For any child and any parent anywhere in the world. To communicate thoughts, feelings and emotions and be understood. So much more so for our deaf children and their families.

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