Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Deaf Boy Saved a Family

“When my son was born we were told by the doctor that we had a healthy baby boy. My wife and I were so excited. I dreamed of all the things he would do as he grew up and how he and I would bond as men. I wanted to teach him everything I knew. I secretly hoped that he would follow in my footsteps and become a pilot.

As the months passed, we noticed something was not right. When we called his name he was slow to look toward us—or not look at us at all. He did not flinch at loud sounds that should have startled him. After a thorough examination by a specialist, we discovered that our son was profoundly deaf.

It was not until he was 15 years old that I accepted my son’s deafness. If it had not been for my son’s handicap, I might not be here today. You can read my story (Flight into Darkness) to learn how my son saved our family. I know now that God does not make mistakes. Every person has a special purpose in life. I hope to help my son discover his.” Ryan Mitchell—“Flight into Darkness”.

Children learn to communicate by imitating the sounds they hear. If they have a hearing loss that is undetected and untreated, they can miss much of the speech and language around them. This results in delayed speech/language development, social problems and academic difficulties.

Hearing loss, in varying degrees, affects two in every 100 children under the age of 18. It is routine practice in most hospitals to perform hearing tests for babies shortly after delivery. This assures early intervention in the event that the newborn exhibits any signs of hearing loss.

Learn more about deafness in the upcoming season of “Switched at Birth”.

 Switched at Birth” (ABC, January 3rd, Tuesdays at 8/7c) tells the story of two teen girls who discover that they were accidentally switched at birth. Bay Kennish grew up in a wealthy family with two parents and a brother, while Daphne Vasquez, who lost her hearing as a child due to a case of meningitis, grew up with a single mother in a poor neighborhood. Things come to a dramatic head when both families meet and struggle to learn how to live together for the sake of the girls.

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