The Secret Deafie is a series of anonymous columns written by different writers. Today’s Deafie tells us about a life-changing decision she had to make.
It was a very bad day in audiology today. Not for me, but for a girl who looked to be the age of around six or seven waiting with her mother to go into an appointment.
“Mummy, please let me have the pink hearing aids,” she said, swinging her legs off the chair. She was pretty with brown, slightly curly hair which came past her shoulders. Her mum was also quite pretty but oozed pretentiousness throughout the situation.
“I promise I’ll be a good girl,” she continued, “All I want is fairy ears…”
Her mother interrupted before the girl could carry on. “Be quiet, Martha, we need to listen out for your name to be called.”
The little girl sat quietly, still swinging her legs around. She looked at the TV but the mumbling of the news could not keep her distracted for long.
“But mummy, Josh in year two at school has blue hearing aids and says they are like superhero ears! I want to be the same, but with fairy ears! And the nice hearing lady said I could have pink ones if I wanted!”
“Martha, how many times have I told you to be quiet about the fairy ears? You’re a big girl now and you can stick to brown. It blends in with your hair and so everyone thinks you’re normal. Josh’s ears are very nice, but you’re grown up now and all these colours look silly on such big children!”
At this point, I had become so angry and upset at the mother’s attitude that I had to switch my own hearing aids off.
My hearing aids are pink with glitter moulds, blue tubes and butterfly stickers – and I’m eighteen years old. The fact that I can decorate my hearing aids gives me a sense of pride and identity as a young deaf person. It seriously upset me that this little girl could not get the ‘fairy ears’ that she desperately wanted. That small dream would have been in reach had her own mother let her have them.
Instead, her mum, only concerned about appearances, forbid her own child from having the colour and design she so wished for.
To children, having the colour of hearing aids and ear moulds that they want can make all the difference between being confident and proud of who they are or being frustrated. I just wonder whether in the future, this little girl, Martha, will grow up wanting to show her hearing aids, or whether her confidence will be low and she’ll be constantly asking God “Why me?”
Please share your opinions on this situation. What would you say to the mother and the little girl? I certainly know what I’d say, and the mum probably wouldn’t like it!
Do you have a story or experience you’d like to share? If you’d like to write a Secret Deafie column, just email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Limping Chicken is the UK’s deaf blogs and news website, and is the world’s most popular deaf blog. It is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
Please note that the views of the writers are their own, and not necessarily the views of the Editor or site as a whole. Read our disclaimer here.
- Phonak: innovative technology and products in hearing acoustics
- Ai-Live: Find out 5 ways to fund live captions at your event!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- Clarion: BSL/English interpreting and employment services
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- Hearing Direct: Online hearing aids
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- SignLive: Online video interpreting for Deaf people
- RAD Tax Advice: Tax and Tax Credit info for Deaf people
- Deaf Independent: Deaf care and support services
- Signworld: online BSL learning and teaching materials
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- Sarah Gatford: BSL interpreting, training and consultancy
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- Sign Solutions:, language and learning
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people
- deafPLUS: Money advice line in BSL
- Happy: Microsoft Office courses taught in BSL and SSE by a Deaf trainer – all abilities catered for
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Ozen: Australian hearing aid specialists
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children
- DCAL: Find out how to study at the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre, London
- cSeeker: Deaf-led educational communication support service