‘Don’t leave us!’ – Continuity of Care

20 Sep

2 yr old hearing aidsWhen the 2 year old was first diagnosed as being deaf we were assigned a Teacher of the Deaf and a Speech Therapist. The Speech Therapist left fairly quickly to be replaced by a lovely girl just back from maternity leave. The Teacher of the Deaf was with us from day 1.

She was the person I cried in front of. She was the one who tolerated my mood swings as I debated whether or not I wanted to meet the parents of other deaf children or not. She was the one whose visits I genuinely looked forward to as she taught me games to stimulate my deaf baby and created fabulous books to help him learns his first words.

When we went to the horrendous ‘weekend for the parents of newly diagnosed deaf children’ in a grim seaside town when he was a matter of months old one of the few highlights for me was the relationship the deaf teenagers had with their Teachers of the Deaf. They seemed like members of the family and I hoped that ours would be with us forever.

In fact she was with us until this month when a promotion, I think bound up with cuts, means that we are being handed over to someone else. The new Teacher seems lovely but I don’t want people to abandon my little boy. When she first mentioned she was leaving in June I was in tears and to my shame think I reacted with the maturity that my 11 year old does when things don’t go her way.

As I flailed around for some continuity of care for my deaf little boy I clung to the Speech Therapist who he had become increasingly fond of. When she left in July he shouted out ‘Bye, bye Lisa’ and I was immensely happy. Not only that he could speak but that we had a medical professional who could fill the gap left by the Teacher of the Deaf.

We didn’t. When she returned after the summer holidays it was to tell me that she was pregnant again and would be leaving us at the end of the year. I was devastated. How can everyone leave us at once?

When the older girls were younger I was devastated every time one of our favourite nursery nurses left. When you lose someone who is vital not only to your childs happiness but to their development it feels even worse. However I am trying to rationalise it by convincing myself that professional skills can be replaced. Genuine love cannot. We are still in touch with my older girls two favourite nursery nurses and I know they love my children. The one person who is most important in our little boys life is our childminder. She genuinely loves him and is as delighted when he learns a new word as if he were her own. He in turn does a ‘Roo, Roo’ shout every time we get in the car and runs to her door without a care in the world. She’s like a young, glamorous ‘Granny Murray’. When she gave up Saturday mornings with her own family last year to come to sign language classes with me I was so moved that I filled in the Surprise, Surprise application form in the hope that I could show her how much she means to us.

Unfortunately I didn’t actually get round to sending it so this will have to do.


5 Responses to “‘Don’t leave us!’ – Continuity of Care”

  1. Alison Miles September 21, 2013 at 7:14 am #

    This exact thing happened to us. Our third teacher of the deaf, one I adored, and our lovely speech therapist both went on maternity leave at the same time. I was heartbroken, more for me than my kids I think. I felt bad for feeling unhappy about pregnancy as that should never happen. But when life throws you such a curve ball as a deaf child (ren) continuity in other places becomes so important.
    I’m so happy for you that you have such a wonderful child minder, I cried reading about her coming to signing lessons. I struggle to leave my children with anyone, even my in laws, because no one apart from my mum has or will learn signing. Xx

    • sleepless in silence in suburbia October 4, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

      I so love hearing all you have to say. The two people who get me are you and the woman I met today. It would be lovely to see when you’re up in Scotland for your wedding. I’d happily look after your kids to give you and your husband a night out on the way there or back. I’m not very good at signing but I’d have a go and I’m very good with hearing aids! Where are you with the process now? That’s implants not wedding planning which I’m sure is all in hand.

      • Alison Miles October 4, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

        Thank you! That’s so sweet. The wedding planning is indeed all in hand. We have our panel meeting about the kids next Wednesday so we will know more then. I’d love to see you when we are up in Scotland. Xx


  1. Sleepless in silence in suburbia - October 4, 2013

    […] spent dashing round to see local friends for coffee or waiting in trepidation for a visit from our Teacher of the Deaf.  This morning we were home alone but instead of insisting on watching ‘CBeebies’ , […]

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