I was a 70s child, and spent the entire preteen and teen-aged years during the 80s. There are some things to be said having grown up in the heart of Adirondack mountains during this period.
One, you only got four channels on the television, if you were lucky. So, I didn’t experience MTV until much later in life.
Two, really good doctors were few and far between.
I was born seemingly healthy, in all appearance-wise that is. By the time I was about two years old, it became apparent to my parents that I wasn’t developing normally.
I startled easily.
I wasn’t responding to stimuli like a “normal” child would.
I got frustrated over the simplest things and threw frequent temper tantrums.
My speech development was on par, for an one-year old.
For the next few years, they took me to see various specialists across New York and Vermont, but no one could tell them what was really wrong with me. One particular specialist blatantly told my parents that I had serious behavioral issues and should see a shrink.
On I went to Kindergarten.
It was probably a few months into the school year when the teacher, Mrs. Siglin, pulled my Mom aside and said that I was practically unteachable. I wasn’t listening to anything she was saying during class. I was abruptive, and rude to the other kids.
Mom, in tears, had to pull me from school.
As a last resort, my parents took me to see an audiologist, Ms. Audrey.
She put me through a series of tests, and then had me sit in a sound-proof room, with a headphone on. She then amplified the sound of my voice.
Something happened that hadn’t happened before.
I began to jabber incoherently at first, and then my words grew clearer and concise.
Ms. Audrey turned to my bewildered parents and explained that I had moderate hearing loss in both ears.
I was almost six years old, and for the first time in my life, I heard the sound of my own voice.