Students’ Reactions to My Cochlear Implants

Several students at my school have some hearing.  They can hold a conversation with hearing teachers without having to lip-read.  They can hear their name being called (not yelling but at a louder volume) from behind them if they’re in a quiet setting.  Sometimes they complain that other children are being too loud in the dorms.  Sometimes they ask other girls to interpret for them since they’re not fluent in sign language yet.

In fact one of the older girl (I would guess around 15-17) came to my room today and asked if she could borrow my phone to call her sister and mother.  She was able to have a conversation without any hearing aids, with the phone at full volume, and in a quiet room.

There is no sense of “deaf pride” or “it’s okay to be deaf.”  For that reason I have never met deaf kids who want to hear so badly.

Not a single person has a hearing aid so they were very curious when they saw my cochlear implants.  Below are some of their comments.

“I want those”

“Do you have more of those in your room?”

“Can I try them on and see if I can hear with them?”

“I will pray so I can get those.”

A couple of the older girls asked if they could try my CIs on even though I explained over and over that they had to have surgery for it to work.  They wanted to see how it felt having something on their ears.  You could tell in their eyes that they were dreaming of what it would be like if they could hear with them.

I do feel guilty knowing I have something that they want to have so badly.

They’re also questioning if I’m deaf or half-half (their term for “hard-of-hearing”).  I consider myself deaf but it seems like if you have a little bit of hearing (residual or with hearing aids/CIs) you’re automatically considered “half-half” here.

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