If the pro’s don’t get it , who will?


Yeah, I’ve been gone awhile.  I guess when I’ve got nothing to say I just don’t say it. 🙂

Today I took my grandson to his biannual hearing test and ENT examination. Now, you would think that everyone from the office staff to the MDs and PhDs there would “get it” that you look at people when you’re talking to them, speak clearly, enunciate, etc.

That would be a “No.” And that boggled my little pea brain.  Excuse me?

Actually,the front desk people were the best. The MD turned his back on me AFTER I explained I am signficantly “hearing impaired.”  The audiologist did the same @!#$! thing – Hi, I’m grandma and I have severe hearing loss – let’s feel free to go ahead and turn your back and jabber to the wall.  When I said, “I can’t understand a thing you just said.” the audiologist turned and said. “Don’t you have your hearing aid on?”

No, I didn’t rip her head off and hand it to her, but I did look at her like she was crazy. What I thought was – WTF?  What I said was, “Yes, I have it on. You need to look me right in the face when you talk to me or I cannot understand anything you say – it’s that bad.

And all these folks are working with Deaf and seriously HoH kids for a living?  Really? Where is Worf when you need him for a really dramatic face/palm.

At least on part-two of the doctor’s visit the doctor actually looked at me when he spoke around 90% of the time.

So they gave me a handout for his teacher and I’m now wondering if I should copy it and send it back to the doctor and the audiologist so they can be reminded:

Focus the person’s attention before saying the important facts of your utterance.

Speak to the person at close range in a lively, well-projected voice.  It is not necessary to shout.  It is more effective to use a natural, energetic voice at close range.

Let the person see your face when you are talking.  (In other words, don’t talk to the computer screen or the wall.)

Show the person what you mean when a visual demonstration is appropriate.

When the person says “Huh?” or “What?” repeat or rephrase what has been said without acting irritated.

Do not attempt to communicate across the room: go over to the person before you speak.

Be careful not to punish the person for failing to follow an instruction that might not have been heard – or heard clearly.

In a classroom setting, seat the person close to the spot where the teacher usual stands when addressing the class. (note, if the person has better hearing on one side, pay attention to communicate on that side.)

The student probably will miss comments or questions from other students in the class, particularly those with soft voices.  It is helpful for the instructor to repeat to the entire class what another student has said.

Check the student’s understanding of spoken instructions before the student begins individual seat work.

Help the student keep a sense of humor about miscommunications that arise because of a hearing problem. (i.e. it is the job of the communicator to get the idea across – take responsibility for the communication so the student can be made to feel okay about not hearing a bungled communication. In addition, never laugh at the student.) 

There.  Now I feel better, I think.  

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One comment

  1. Beautiful said, true, true, true ….. perhaps people with good hearing simply cannot really imagine not hearing well. The solution would be to oblige all the professionals that deal with hearing impaired people to wear ear plugs for 24 hours during a working day – each month.

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