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dd aged 12 popularity versus hearing aids no experience required mumsnetters as all ideas welcome

(21 Posts)
Tortington Wed 09-Mar-05 00:52:59

i give up!!! my daughter is in senior school walks out of the house with her hearing aids in and takes them off immediatley as she gets to school. WE get told off by her teachers. we have had meetings with teachers who said that they and support staff would check and ull her on it - even her brothers are checking - not that she cares. 12 going on 15 and thinks she is "miss thang" her popularity at school is high - which is good, its not like her friends dont know of her hearing aid existance.

i had to have a ding dong on mothers day as we were going out for MY mothers day treat to get her to wear them. she started crying saying people look at her funny - even her big brothr ( who does as big brothers do and is generally not nice to her particularly) said " you cant even see them!"

you cant see them - its definatley a psychologicl thing - and i cant explain any more than i have how they will improve her speech and increase her ability to learn - i have told her she is working harder to keep up than everyone else inschool,

i have took things at home off her until she wears them

she is partially deaf so can manage - i mean ..manage without them. she lipreads excellently - most people dont even know - but she shouldnt have to manage and senior school is a completely different animal to junior school where she was popular BECUASE of them and loved wearing them.

she has a hearing support teacher who may see her once in a blue moon. we have told her - she talks to my dd and makes no difference

its all going to shit - and i just seem to be threatening negative sanctions and shouting a lot. its a hard one mnetters - nice talk wont work, logical theory wont work, negative sanctions wont work - and so am left with super glue.

jampots Wed 09-Mar-05 00:57:14

i get this with dd's glasses esp after one boy defined "geek" as someone clever who wears glasses. trouble is she's starting to squint and blink quite a lot from her weak eye so ive told her that makes her look more odd than wearing glasses

jampots Wed 09-Mar-05 00:59:17

she too is 12 btw

Tortington Wed 09-Mar-05 01:03:41

its a nightmare isn't it jampots. am at a loss as what to do - thing is i completely sympathise with her - how rotten it is to not be a sheep in senior school

Levanna Wed 09-Mar-05 01:06:39

No experience of the hearing aid problem, but thanks for the superglue idea! Found a way to keep DD1 in her own bed at last!

No sorry, on a more serious note, it really sounds like you've tried all I'd have thought of and much more on top. I'm afraid I don't know anything about variations in hearing ability, is it absolutely necessary for her to wear her hearing aids? I mean, if she's as happy and able to manage without as you say then would it be possible to let her try it?
IME a reasonable level of satisfaction within the social aspect of school makes for more productive school years than ones whiled away feeling down.
Is your DD in contact with other people with other people with varied hearing abilities? I mean, if she were to move in circles where other people who wear hearing aids could give her guidance, might that help her to feel more happy about it?

charleypops Wed 09-Mar-05 01:12:54

Speaking from my own experience.... I have always been very shortsighted, and REFUSED to wear my glasses at school even though I couldn't see the board. By the time I was 13, my mum had had to buy me contact lenses. Which were great. Problem solved. I told my mum a few months ago that that was the best thing she did for me when I was a kid

I can imagine the same thing applies to your daughter custardo. It's a very tricky age to have to deal with looking a bit different. Does she have one of those really teeny weeny ones that only go inside the ear and have no wires attached? I'm sure I've seen these advertised somewhere? Probably really expensive though...

Tortington Wed 09-Mar-05 01:18:39

shes got state of the art digital purple ones with matching moulds which she chose. and you cant see them as her hair covers them.

i get what your saying levanna - i really want to tell her not to bother - she hates thems o much - but she is 40% deaf in both ears - it effects her speech whic h improves nioticably when she wears them regularly.

i think i may send an individual letter to every teacher she has. speaking to head of year or learning support teachers obviously isnt working.

Levanna Wed 09-Mar-05 01:34:30

Sorry custardo, that was insensitive, I'm sure it's what you'd love to do if it was appropriate! I hope you find the answer to this .

jabberwocky Wed 09-Mar-05 01:40:49

My brother wore a hearing aid back when they were really large and obvious. He really hated it and refused to wear it most of the time. If it weren't for her speech, I would say, let her lipread. But, with that issue, how about doing a family video of some event and then playing it back, not as an "in your face" kind of thing, but to see if it might spark a conversation about her speech as compared to everyone else's. Hopefully, she would bring it up, but I wouldn't count on it.

tigermoth Wed 09-Mar-05 07:24:17

What a problem and I can see why you want your dd to wear the hearing aids.

You say her hair covers her ears - but does she truly believe her hair hides the aid all the time? Any good suggesting a change of hairstlye, and fussing her up a bit - take her to a hairdresser of her choice, buy her some hair stuff from Claire's accessories or a new hair styling products etc. If the hairdresser shows her that her ears will always be out of sight, would she accept this? perhaps a hairdresser has more power than a teacher or a mother in this instance?

bathmummy Wed 09-Mar-05 08:00:29

How about a temporary compromise - that she only needs where it during class for the next month or so and can take it out during breaktimes and to and from school. This way she can socialise without worriny about it and yet can benefit in class. I would make a deal and say that if she discreetly fits it at the start of every lesson then you don’t mind her taking it out at the end of class but if she fails to do this, that you will ask all her class teachers to give her five minutes to remember and then to tell her to fit it in front of the whole class - I bet the thought of her teacher telling her in front of everyone and all turning around waiting for her would be enough for her to do it on her own.

Just a thought

sassy Wed 09-Mar-05 09:39:43

I am partially deaf and was given aids to wear when I was 11 or 12. ONly ever worn one (though would be better with two - vanity wins though!). People are always surprised when they first realise I wear it cos my hair covers it and speech is unaffected. i do miss odd things but not enough to be noticeable IYKWIM.
One thing she may be swayed by is that I was considered much more geeky without them cos I had to watch the teacher so intently (lip-reading) that i looked terribly 'keen' - once i got the aid i could listen just as well but appear less teacher's pet -ish cos i could look away more! (Can't believe i'm giving this advice, i'm a teacher and supposed to be totally anti-boffin bullying but we live in the real world, don't we?)
i was fortuanate that my friend also had hearing aids - this made a big differenc to us both in terms of confidence.
Can't think of anything else useful at the mo; feel free to CAT me if you or dd want to ask me anything.

Tortington Wed 09-Mar-05 19:45:27

thanks very much. i have just sat down and had a heart to heart. she is devestated and doesn't want to be different. When teachers are speaking to her they deliberatley move their mouth in exagerated movements and speakmore loudly. she doesnt like kids asking questions about her aids and said if they are not in her ears no one treats her differently.

any road up - the conclusion is that i am going to get the hearing support teacher to ( with schools permission) get her group of 6 firends in a room for a play around with the hearing aids and maybe a presentation or something.

i am going to ask if i can go to a staff meeting just for 5 minutes to explain to the teachers how not to treat dd.

i hope they will let me - i seem to have a fairly good rappor with the school - what do the teachers think?

Trifle Wed 09-Mar-05 20:04:20

Custardo - for me the solution is to address the problem that "she doesnt like kids asking questions about her aids", ie, she feels uncomfortable in explaining them to people. I doubt very much that you notice them as you have grown used to them but she hasnt. As a child I grew up with a fairly noticeable skin discoloration to which I was constantly told by my mother to 'take no notice', 'nobody's looking', 'just ignore them' etc etc when it was painfully obvious that people were staring. For me it would have been far better if my mum had said 'yes people are looking but this is how you can deal with it' or 'if people ask tell them this...'.

For me the key is to instil confidence in her ability to deal with it when people look and to answer any questions concisely without embarassement.

coppertop Wed 09-Mar-05 20:42:55

I can really sympathise with the bit about the moving their mouth in an exaggerated way and speaking too loudly. I know they're trying to be helpful but it's a PITA because, as you know, if you're trying to lip-read then the exaggerated movements can really throw you.

I really like the idea of a visit to the school to talk to the teachers about what to do/not to do. I'm not a teacher though so don't know what the reaction would be.

If uour dd is keen then a presentation for the class/school could be a good idea too. It might head off most of the awkward and annoying questions. Could the school incorporate it into a bigger 'disability awareness' type of thing so that she doesn't feel too self conscious about it?

jabberwocky Thu 10-Mar-05 03:37:00

you know, I almost said something about what my school did (but it was in the '70's and for 9 - 12 year olds). Anyway, a girl came to our school with very obvious hearing aids. Before she started a teacher spoke with everyone in the lunch room and explained what they were for, etc. To my knowledge no one ever made any mention of them either to the girl or behind her back. Looking back, it was a brave move on the part of the school and quite a good thing.

Cristina7 Thu 10-Mar-05 07:25:12

Hi Custardo. Does your daughter have a teacher of the deaf? It would be her job to explain to the teachers how to support your daughter and also how not to do it. Speaking with exagerated mouth movements and loudly - what's that about? If you make unnatural mouth movements it makes it more difficult to lipread, not easier, because it's unusual and when speaking loudly the sound is slightly distorted, again no help with understanding. It sounds like the teachers need some basic understanding of deafness and how they can help.

When my DS was at nursery and started wearing aids we made a 2-page info sheet for his carers there. We've adapted it over time but still hand it over whenever he goes somewhere new, e.g. summer camp. It covers things such as not talking with their backs to the main source of light as DS wouldn't be able to lipread or cutting background noise wherever possible (e.g. by closing the door). Got some of the ideas from www.listen-up.org.

Are you in touch with your local NDCS group? Our local one (SW London) organises get-togethers for deaf teenagers (all degrees of deafness, whether hearing aid or cochlear implant users etc). This kind of setting might help your daughter if she meets other kids wearing aids and perhaps going through the same problems. My DS is only 5 and the aids are such a part of him, but I dread to think that he too will go through a phase of rejecting them.

sassy Thu 10-Mar-05 09:52:04

Hi again.
Think the idea of familiarising her group o friends with them is a good one. I guess they don't even think about it most of the time but if it helps your dd to confront it head-on, great. I sympathise about the lip movement thing - I hate having my hair cut for this reason- it feels patronising as well as being confusing etc. R.e. the staff meeting; might it be better to go through the school's usual channels - is her Head of Year sympathetic? - as staff meetings are usually infrequent and v. busy at high schools. Also, items like this tend to be put at the end of the meeting when staff are fed up and want to go home, so may not give it full concentration. If you go through Head of Year etc, can be explained by them at a staff briefing (many places ahev them weekly)and backed up with a written memo.HTH.

Tortington Thu 10-Mar-05 15:09:12

thanks very much have took your ideas and am putting them into practise - have found out a deaf group close to us which isnt partic for kids but the lady said they have a deaflymics champ goes there so maybe it would instill confidence and a sense of normality and less of the dramatic " my life is over" attitude. she can take a friend too and they learn sign language so that is great.

i think the leaflet idea is wonderful i really do - is there any chance at all you could cat me a copy? that way i dont have to intrude into the teachers inner sanctum i can explain to head of year and ask her to hand the sheets out. - great idea

Cristina7 Thu 10-Mar-05 17:29:44

Hi Custardo. I'll try and CAT you with the info sheet we have for Dominic and you can adapt it to suit your daughter. I'm quite new to this CAT thing, let me know if you get it.

Tortington Thu 10-Mar-05 19:16:44

will do. thank you ever so much

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