Emma's Story - Navigating Deafness
When Emma’s daughter Darcy was born, she had absolutely no risk factors for deafness. A referral for her daughter to the Victorian Infant Hearing Screening Program was eventually obtained and it was discovered that Darcy had profound bilateral hearing loss.
“Some people responded with how sorry they were to hear it and some of them were slightly taken aback by our response, which is always, but she’s only deaf!”
“For six months, Darcy and I attended Australian Hearing at Moonee Ponds where we were provided with lots and lots of information about deafness, the implications of Darcy’s type of hearing loss, language acquisition and perhaps most importantly the early intervention services.”
Emma decided to embrace a bilingual approach to language which was supported by the Early Intervention Service, Aurora. With Aurora’s support Darcy was introduced to both English and Auslan. Darcy is now an especially talkative young girl!
For Emma and Darcy, as they navigated the world of deafness, they also had to navigate the much-medicalised side of hearing loss.
“It was really important that we were very comfortable with our decisions, and able to be assertive in our choices. We recognised that these individuals were expert within their fields, but they were not experts in our family, community or child.”
“Every decision we have made has been done with the belief that it will improve an outcome for her, give her choices and allow her to be a complete child who is funny, wilful, stubborn, independent, slightly dirt encrusted and happy.”