Me and Deaference
Hi everyone, and welcome to my Deaference website. I am Hameeda Raj – mum to three beautiful children who are the inspirations for the characters in my first children’s book ‘Ali and Aidy go to the Beach’.
Experiencing hearing loss
Let’s start with a statistic – it’s good to use when putting something into context.
‘3 babies are born deaf every day*, often to hearing parents with little or no experience of dealing with hearing loss issues’.
I was one of these parents many years ago, except my son’s hearing loss was diagnosed a lot after he was born, when he was over 2 years old. As parents, my husband and myself got the shock of our lives when after a simple grommet operation we were told our son was severely to profoundly deaf. I knew nothing about deafness, and had no history of hearing loss in our family. We were then immersed into the deaf world right at the deep end. My son’s hearing loss affects his speech and language so whilst he is very vocal and communicates with speech, there are a lot of words and their meanings that he doesn’t know or understand even as an adult now. We used to use a combination of speech and British Sign Language (BSL).
I’ve created this website ‘Deaference’ in the hope to support families who may have had similar experiences to me, by offering a small helping hand towards improved communication. I created a book (the first of many I hope!) to capture the essence of story-telling with signs, specifically with a deaf character, unlike traditional books. I hope this and future books are enjoyed by parents, children, and anyone else who may be affected by hearing loss – or simply those who wish to enrich their reading experience with visual signs. As the mother of a deaf son, this subject is close to my heart.