My name is Ide Roche and I’m the mother of a deaf 5 year old boy. Last week I heard Derek Mooney interview a lady about her son being deaf. Please share this email that I wrote to Derek. Thanks. (A transcript of the Derek Mooney show cited, is available)
My name is Ide Roche, from Newcastle West in Co.Limerick, and I listened with great interest to your show about the challenges for hearing parents of deaf children. Firstly, may I applaud Eithne Carroll for the way she told the story of her son, Callum. She reminds me of myself, devoted to her son.
This is my story:
Our son Tomás was born in 2006 and I had concerns about his hearing when he was two and a half. My husband and I thought Tomás needed grommets as his speech was delayed. Tomás had an ABR test in July 2009 and we were told Tomás was profoundly deaf in both ears. Our lives were absolutely shattered that day. Tomás had visits to Beaumont hospital where we got fantastic support and in May 2010 he got a cochlear implant.
Meantime, we got great support from our audiologist, who suggested the (free) “visiting teacher for the deaf” service. We met this “visiting teacher”, and NEVER looked back. Our VT visits our home every Friday. Tomás had to learn to listen and speak, starting at the very basic of words.
The VT sat with Tomás and taught him to listen and speak. The VT has been and still is the backbone of our lives. Tomás is now in preschool and the VT organised for him to get community speech and language each week. We have regular meetings at the school where the VT, speech teacher, preschool teacher and I make a timetable to suit Tomás’ language progress.
The preschool teacher is fantastic. Tomás is doing so well with the VT’s help that we enrolled him in mainstream school. The VT is doing reports so Tomás will have school supports (i.e, a SNA). Once Tomás starts primary school, the VT will ensure he gets the best of help. There is no doubt in my mind that with the school’s good work and the VT’s input, Tomás will reach his goal (being a boy of his own age).
I really appreciate what our VT did for Tomás. He went from a child with limited understanding and speech, to a boy that understands everything and speech-wise, well I must say the VT pumped her heart and soul into Tomás speech progress and we can see how well he is doing.
I wanted everyone to hear how Tomás’ journey was and still is in progress. I also want people to know there IS help from the Department of Education (the VT) and for Tomás, this was and is 100% successful. The VT will be in our lives till Tomás finishes school and we are honoured to have her input.