Dear Lady Who Told My Deaf Son to Be Quiet

I’m sorry he’s loud. I know. We’re working on it. He may not have heard your words of venom, but the glare on your face said it all. Even though you didn’t know his story, you rushed to judge. Let me tell you Junior’s story.

After my son was born I had sadly resigned him to a life of silence. I heard the word “deaf” and my world was crushed. Hope was lost. My precious baby boy was a birth defect statistic. The world I had envisioned for him was gone, and he would forever be labeled with a disability.

Months and months of doctor’s appointments confirming his diagnosis, and buckets of my tears later, he received the most incredible gift any person could ever receive–the gift of sound. Our baby endured a long surgery to have electrodes and magnets placed in his little body, he endured pain and pain medicine and antibiotics. He endured doctors poking and prodding, and appointments and being woken up from naps and being taken away from Curious George. He endured hours in the car and way too many meals of apple slices and chicken nuggets because his momma was just too tired. He’s endured feeling “different” and having people stare. He always offers strangers a smile, but people are rarely kind enough to smile back because they’re too busy staring.

But now, because of the gift he was given, he can finally hear his own voice. He’s only loud because he can hear. His world is no longer silent. We’re working on the volume, we really, really are. And that adds another therapy into his already overscheduled little life. We try to avoid stores and restaurants, but today, while I stood in line to get my children a cookie as a special treat, you felt inconvenienced and saw it your place to reprimand me.

And yet, you didn’t care to ask his story. You just told me to make him quiet. I was hurt and stunned, but what I really should have done was tell you what a blessing it was that you were able to hear his voice. That your ears work, that you were already born with the gift of sound. Because while he can be loud, that little voice is a miracle and I will never take it for granted.

Read Junior’s Story

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11 thoughts on “Dear Lady Who Told My Deaf Son to Be Quiet

  1. Oh God what insensitive people we have in this world. Hugs and kisses to you, this is my fear for my daughter that she will be judged by the insensitive ignorant people of this world. Love you and your son.

  2. While at a western museum gift shop when my daughter was only a year old and hadn’t had her CI very long she was being a bit noisy and I overheard a lady tell her friend she wished we would “shut that baby up”. My dad overheard it as well and got very upset. He told her that she is his grandbaby and she is deaf and doesn’t know how loud she is. Sorry that happened to you. You are definitely not alone! She is now 6 and is doing amazing. Can’t even tell she was born deaf.

  3. I don’t like loud people, but I hate ignorant and inconsiderate people. This is like telling someone who just picked up a flute and played their first note that they are airy and out of tune. How discouraging is that? People shouldn’t be so quick to judge.

  4. While our children do not share the same challenges, we have been the recipients of selfish and judgmental bystanders. I have not always been as gracious to them as you were to this woman. Ignorant comments hurts. Probably hurts us moms more than our oblivious kids. Your little guy is a sweet blessing!

  5. i wish you & your son many years of happy hearing. I became single sided deaf at the age of 46 when I had surgery to remove an inner ear tumor called ac acoustic neuroma. My children were 5 & 6 years old. They had to adjust to a different mom. A few months later, I had implant surgery to place a ‘snap’ in my skull so I could attach my Cochlear BAHA (bone attached hearing aid). My kids were thrilled! They didn’t have to remember which ear they had to talk into!

    Fast forward 6 years…just 2 weeks ago, I woke up to a torn eardrum–in my ‘good’ ear. I was suddenly deaf! While I WILL regain hearing, genetics have come into play. Hearing in that ‘good’ ear has diminished to 45%. I will be getting a cool new hearing aid on the good side to help it hear better. The BAHA still works well for the other side.

    These past 2 weeks, one of my small fears has been, “how loudly am I speaking?” I really have no idea! I know when I am yelling, but I just guess at the volume of my speaking voice. So I can completely relate to your son’s sudden hearing & testing out his voice.

    I pray your son continues to do well and thrive with his CI. Amazing what can be done these days! As to the rude woman, she needs to learn tact. Maybe she was having a really bad day but her words could have been chosen to uplift rather than cut down. “Wow! What a voice you have! Can I hear your quite voice now?”

    I hope you have an awesome day.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Laurel! I have been single sided deaf since infancy, and I know exactly what you mean when you say your kids had to remember which ear to talk into! :) Junior is doing better each day with his quiet voice, so luckily the rude comments have become less frequent!

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