Don’t you ever feel visually overstimulated? Too much bright light? Maybe the bright blue glow of your computer monitor starts to irritate? Isn’t sometimes, the sun too bright?
For the hearing impaired it is similar, yet different. For me, sometimes the challenges of listening, deciphering, comprehending what people are saying (let alone responding) can become stressful. I guess for hearing folk that can be such a foreign concept. Especially in busy places, where there are lots of people talking, maybe even music playing in the background, AND I’m trying to figure out what someone is saying…whew!
The best example I can come up with is my Pre-K classroom. When 17 four year old children are all playing and talking at once, it gets a little much for my poor little ears. You realize, of course, we have boys that love pretending to be superheros with strength, excitement, and LOUD voices, while princesses (or artists) are carrying on, some with much quieter voices. So if we have an argument, or an accident, in the midst of the usual buzz, then hearing the children involved in this little sub activity is, well, challenging!
BUT, guess what happened this week? I just got a tad bewildered and muttered, “OH. I think my ears need a vacation!” The children stopped and looked at me, some starring and others giggling. When one of them questioned me, I said, “Well, yeah maybe I could send my ears on an airplane to a nice quiet little island somewhere. Then they could just relax and lay on a blanket and get a suntan.” After more giggles, I explained, “Maybe, my ears just need a break from listening so much, because they get tired. So a vacation for my ears,” in my quietest whisper voice, “would be a place that’s nice …….and…… quiet.”
And guess what they did? THEY ACTUALLY ALL GOT QUIET! Of course, it didn’t last long but I learned finding a way to speak my needs can be easily understood by four year old children!