Reflections from H&V Leadership Conference D.C. 2019-Parent Guide Beth Flaherty

 Reflections from H&V Leadership Conference D.C. 2019-Parent Guide Beth Flaherty

*We will have 9 Blog posts from our 9 GA H&V team members that went to the Annual Hands & Voices Leadership Conference this past September in Washington D.C. at Gallaudet University. Gallaudet is the world's only Deaf/Hard of Hearing University. *

Parent Guide Beth Flaherty at D.C. Signing Starbucks

As my son grows up I am constantly asking myself “is this normal? Is this 12 year old boy? Is this deaf? Is it something to worry about?” Since he was a baby there have always been odd, or just different behaviors, that I can never quite could be sure about. Hearing parents don’t have the answers I am looking for. I have been teaching 12/13 year old children for almost 2 decades and I still can’t always get a handle on where a certain behavior of his is coming from. Then, I went to the Hands & Voices Leadership Conference in Washington D.C. a few weeks ago. In every session, every conversation, and every voice I heard, I saw my son. He is normal, he is deaf, and he is also his very own brand of unique. Every mom there had a story that paralleled my own some way, their kids to mine, their families to mine.  His stubbornness isn’t unusual. His need to control a conversation so he can track it, he is not alone in this. His persistence that is seen as outstanding among his hearing peers is a trait that most parents spoke about. It was a blessing to have a connection and a blessing to see that he really is not so unusual after all. We pretend that we don’t compare our children to others, but we do. It is a natural tendency to try to track the “normalcy” of our children. I found my perception of my son has been re-aligned and I can trust that when he seems to be completely different from his hearing peers it really is just his “normal.”- Parent Guide Beth Flaherty
ASTra Advocate Vicki Hilpp having some "Uptime" Bonding with Parent Guide Beth Flaherty
Our GA H&V team has a special bond.  

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