Apr 10, 2016
Attention deficit, developmental delays, processing disorder: These were the words my parents heard about me from a half dozen doctors, audiologists and speech-language pathologists. But both my parents (and grandmother) work in the medical field, and these diagnoses just didn’t fit what they saw. When my attention was grabbed, I had no issues sitting still or focusing. Simply put, I was not speaking or responding to sounds.
After 18 months of being tested and retested with one misdiagnosis after the next, someone advised my mother to take me to the school district for testing. This was after a year’s worth of constant speech and language therapy. Fearing I would be labeled, my mother initially objected, but eventually she relented, and within minutes of my being tested, the school district informed her I had hearing loss. I was 3 at the time, and this was only the beginning of a long road ahead.
The diagnosis finally made sense. The doctors started talking about hearing aids, schools for the deaf and sign language, and they told my parents I would never be able to function in the hearing world. My parents were devastated; their world was flipped upside down.