My Battle Call | She Didn’t Hear You!
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She Didn’t Hear You!

I’ll never forget the time my child came home from elementary school confused and upset after being reprimanded on the playground.
She had been climbing on the play structure and the supervisor repeatedly called her from across the blacktop.
My child didn’t respond; She didn’t hear her name being called.
The wind.
The background noise from the other kids.
The forty-plus-foot distance from the supervisor.
And—most notable—she was being a kid who was focused on playing, rather than listening to and locating every sound around her.
Here’s the thing…
We had done our best to educate the school staff. Everyone who worked there on a regular basis had been informed but this supervisor FORGOT.
That’s one of the challenging things about hearing loss. At the time, my child was too young to understand or truly advocate for herself.
So often, particularly when it comes to kids, people FORGET.
In this scenario, the adult got frustrated and assumed my child’s lack of acknowledgement was behavioral.
All these years later…this is one of the experiences that has stuck with me.
Truth is—some people just don’t get the nuances of hearing loss and they don’t comprehend how hard it is to LISTEN with a hearing device (even when you can hear *some* things).
Hearing and understanding are not the same.
What some people don’t understand is that someone who has hearing loss might not “hear” what is being said for many reasons.
If you add distance and/or background noise—like on a playground—it’s even more challenging.
The ability to localize sound is limited; being able to discriminate between meaningful sound versus noise is also difficult.
This is one of the reasons someone who is hard of hearing may “tune-out” information.
What is needed instead of frustration is:
Patience. Kindness. Awareness.
After sharing the playground incident with our teacher, she circled back with the supervisor to re-educate her. Our teacher was a huge advocate.
It’s all a process. Albeit sometimes a frustrating and challenging one!
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