Tuesday, October 30, 2012


For listening practice tonight, William and I picked a page from a Baby Einstein book with pictures of fruits: apple, watermelon, banana, grapes, orange, and blueberries.  We fancied it up a bit by having me listen to try to guess which word he was saying.

"Grapes" was the clearest word, and I guessed that one correctly most of the time.

"Watermelon" and "banana" were hard to distinguish, but I could sometimes tell that there were three syllables in the word.

"Orange" was tricky.  Too tricky.  I often mistook "orange" for "banana" inexplicably.

"Apple" never sounded right. Every time William said, "Apple," I heard, "Lemon." Every single time.  "Lemon" wasn't even an option!  After enough of that, I explained to William what was going on, and he said, "That's crazy." And I said, "Because they sound so different to you? And they sound exactly the same to me." Then I started to cry, and practice was over.

It is so obvious that I have overcompensated for my hearing loss by developing alternate listening strategies: lip-reading, trying to guess the context of a conversation based on the words that I can pick out, observing body language.  I think that these strategies will come in handy, and I don't plan to jettison lip-reading any time soon, because that tends to impress people a lot.  But learning how to listen, without any external cues, is almost impossible.


  1. Practice must be hard and disheartening, but keep at it, we know you can do it!!

  2. oh man this sounds so hard! sending hugs your way!!

  3. I think you are amazing. Progress towards our goals can be so excruciatingly slow, but you CAN do it. Just give yourself plenty of time and lots of encouragement. How exciting that you could clearly hear 'grapes'. Soon the other words will come too. Hang in there!

  4. When I was taking piano lessons, when Mrs. Wilson decided it was time for me to memorize my piece, sometimes she would try the "throw me out of the nest so I have to fly" technique by just taking away my music and telling me to play it. Well...that never worked. And every time, I just got horribly frustrated and cried, vowing that I hated piano and I didn't want to do it anymore.

    It makes me so sad when I hear that you've gotten discouraged after one of your practices. Just don't feel like you have to push yourself, ok? If you have to, spend more time practicing listening to the words before you try to guess them. We all love you, and we think you are very brave, so just hang in there!!