As well as working as a Speech and Language Therapist I am also a mum of 2. My daughter, who's 7, is deaf and has cochlear implants. As a family this has been tough: she wasn't born deaf. We discovered her hearing loss when she was 3, and by the time she was 6 she had lost more hearing and had qualified for cochlear implant surgery.
To cut a long story short.......we're all ok, she's doing well and has the right support in school.
It's a lot of hard work getting the right support and raising awareness about a child with additional needs. I've known this professionally for years. But.....I never truly appreciated just how many hours of thinking, writing, planning, phoning, emailing and talking were involved. Not to mention the worrying....
It makes me wonder: how much does it help me that I play a professional role in the support provided to other children? Does it mean I cope better with the challenges my daughter faces? Certainly there have been times where I have thanked my lucky stars that I know how to develop language skills, as I am positive this has helped my daughter.
However, on the other hand my professional experience means I know only too well how hard it can be to fight for the support children need. I know how long it can take. I know how many brick walls parents can come up against. I know the impact of cuts to services.
A definite positive for me personally is that it has helped me to support and relate to the parents of the children I support.
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