Doing Self-Counseling During A Temporary Hearing Loss Helped Me A Lot

Do you know how some girls dream of becoming a real-life princess or a singer or a teacher when they were younger? I was not one of them. Ever since I was eight years old, I already knew that I wanted to become a lead electric guitarist in the band.

How Did I Think Of Such A Specific Dream?

It all started with my big brother, who was a teenager at the time. Our parents would always be banging James’ door because of the loud music that came out of his room almost 24/7. James called it art, while mom and dad thought it was nothing but noise, so they constantly clashed.

In my opinion, I honestly could not care much about whatever that was. It also bothered me sometimes, especially when James’ rock songs were blasting in the middle of the night. However, there were many times when I would hear this frantic melody that was utterly astounding.

When I asked James about it, he said that it was a guitar. An electric guitar, to be specific. I had never seen one at such a young age, so I pulled mom to a music store when we were in town one day and asked the salesman if he could show me one.

Looking at the instrument turn to me, begging my mother to buy an electric guitar for me. Of course, she refused to do it. “You did not even want to learn how to play the piano, and learning this one is much more complicated than that.”

I knew my mother made sense, but I also knew that I liked an electric guitar better than a piano. I had to beg my parents to get one for me for months, and they only agreed to do it when they saw me watching online guitar tutorials and trying to play an imaginary guitar.

Living The Dream

While most aspiring rockers I came across started by forming a band in high school, I aimed higher than that. As soon as I turned 16 years old, I got a fake ID to go to bars and see if anyone would allow me to play my instrument there. I had no thoughts of doing underage drinking; all I wanted to do was to get started on fulfilling my dream.

My routine had been the same for two years since then. After school, I would train for two or three hours on weekdays. On weekends, my ever-supportive brother would drive me to different bars and clubs so that we could see if they could give me a shot. Unfortunately, I did not have much luck in those two years.

Sometime after my 18th birthday, though, my brother and I went to a bar where an up-and-coming band was supposed to provide entertainment. I was not trying to get a job there at the time, but I overheard the band members arguing with each other because their guitarist was nowhere in sight. One of them even said, “How can that guy bail on us now when there are music producers in the audience?”

That one question made me perk up. I took a deep breath, walked up to the band, and practically told them that I had been playing the electric guitar for years and trying to get my foot in the industry. If they were up to it, I could learn their list in the 30 minutes and stand in for their guitarist so that they would not look like fools in front of the producers.

My substitution eventually turned into a permanent position in the band. The proudest moment in my life was when we signed an official contract with a music label that would produce our songs and ensure that we could go on tours around the country.

But Tragedy Came

Everyone I knew was pretty ecstatic about my achievement. “A young rocker gal” was what family and friends called me, and I soaked in all their praises. At the same time, I worked hard to prove to my new band that they were correct to invest in me.

The thing was, I was driving home from the studio one night when I dozed off on the wheel and crashed against a highway barrier. I was too disoriented to realize that the side of my head slammed hard against the window, damaging my eardrum. The next day, I only learned about it when I felt the bandages, and the doctor explained that I lost my sense of hearing temporarily.

I returned to work in less than two weeks, hoping that my one good ear was enough, but it was not. I struggled every day to keep up with the band and always felt terrible whenever I messed up. On one of the most demanding practices, my band member gave me a self-counseling book.

Doing Self-Counseling

I would never have picked up a self-counseling book before, but I was helpless. I read that journaling about my feelings daily worked, so I tried that. I also thought of positive affirmations I could tell myself every morning and went hiking to clear my head. Everything seemed to work for me, and little did I know, my sense of hearing returned slowly but surely.…

Talking About My Experience In Group Art Counseling

I just finished watching a Netflix series that featured incredible connections between dogs and their humans. All of their stories could genuinely pull you in, but I was drawn more towards the story of a former astronaut who got famous for posing with his two dogs for his official NASA portrait.

The guy’s name was Leland Melvin, and he is currently doing public speaking throughout the country. Interestingly, his story was that he almost did not make it as an astronaut because of a Water training accident that made him lose his hearing temporarily. I never knew about this before, but apparently, you could not sign up to go to space if you had a hearing loss.

Leland practically went into depression because of that, and the only thing that saved him was being with his dog at the time. Then, his hearing returned after some months, and he got to do the most fabulous job ever.

My Story

The reason why the astronaut’s story was very remarkable was that it hit close to home. No, I did not try to have a career in aerospace engineering, but I also suffered from a debilitating injury similar to his.

As a native of the Santa Catalina islands in California, scuba diving was most people’s favorite hobby while growing up. I was undoubtedly among them so that you would find me at the beach almost every week with my friends or family. I even enrolled at a local driving school one summer and proceeded to work as a part-time assistant instructor there in my late teens.

If you thought of my credentials, it would be easy to believe that I could do scuba diving in my sleep and be safe. I thought so, too. However, accidents could happen even to the best of us at any point, and I experienced that first hand.

I could remember it as if it happened yesterday. My friends and I were out to do scuba diving on a Saturday. We had all just gone back home after our finals in college, so we were looking to have fun in the best way we knew how. Our gears had been prepared beforehand, and we had a licensed diver with us to be sure.

Deep in the water, my friends and I were having the best time of our lives. Someone brought their GoPro camera, and we took as many photos as possible with the corals and the school of fish. But then, as we went a little deeper, my oxygen tank malfunctioned, and I was losing air in an instant.

I tried not to panic as my friends pulled me to the surface as quickly as possible. I believe the entire time that everything was still cool, but that was until someone shrieked, and everyone moved faster to get us to shore. As it turned out, my left ear was bleeding, and it was most likely due to the extreme pressure under the water.

That was the day I lost the hearing in my left ear. My right ear did not bleed, but I could barely hear through it as well. Worse, the doctors could not tell me if it was a permanent disability or not.

Getting Into Group Art Counseling

I could not be angry at anyone for what happened to me. I checked my gear before diving; it was utter lousy luck that the oxygen tank failed me.

On the outside, I told my family I was okay. On the inside, though, I felt lost. As a music major, my sense of hearing was super crucial if I wanted a career as a singer or musician. It was a blessing in disguise that the accident occurred during summer break, so I did not have to worry about classes for a while.

Whenever I felt depressed about my situation, I would wander around the beach. On this particular day, I came across a group of people with their easels and canvases out on the shore. I observed them for a minute, and everyone seemed so peaceful and calm. As they packed their stuff up, I decided to talk to their leader, technically an art counselor.

The counselor told me that her group consisted of individuals who felt depressed and stressed due to various reasons. I thought I ticked both boxes, so I asked if o could join their next group art counseling session, and she agreed on it readily.

My Experience

Doing art as a form of counseling helped me find my center again. I saw the canvas as a piece of material that I could control, and I needed to feel that in my life. Painting the ocean – or at least trying to do so – made me more eager to continue my medical treatment so that I could get back out there again.

After almost three months of hearing almost nothing, it came back all of a sudden. I could not thank my doctors enough for their help, but I knew that art counseling had a special participation in my recovery process.…

Teaching Strategies For Students With Hearing Loss

The 2019 Disabled Child Event emphasized the importance of taking an inclusive teaching approach to people with disabilities. It includes those with hearing loss. Admit or not, students with hearing impairment have a hard time taking studying. The reality is, most of these individuals feel isolated in the learning environment we have right now. With these in mind, here are some teaching strategies you can use to make school systems more inclusive.

Improve Classroom Conditions

Students with hearing conditions need a modified classroom. This kind of room includes well-designed acoustics for optimal sound production, proper visual lighting, and little distractive noise. It would help if you also considered putting them in the front so that they’ll have a more unobstructed view of your visuals. Their sight is their primary weapon in learning.

Provide Transcripts

Flashing powerpoints or writing on blackboards are not enough. Some information that you say on your adlib while teaching, but are not in the visuals. Therefore, the best way to go about this is to provide transcripts that will help them catch up with the discussion. They can review this after to ensure that they’ve understood the lesson correctly.

Repeat Important Concepts

You need to repeat the critical concepts several times so that they’ll take everything in. Do the same practice if ever other students ask some questions before giving your response. This way, they won’t be confused with what’s happening around them. This approach will also help them just in case they have the same question in mind.

Maximize Assistive Technical Capabilities

Years of research and development allowed educators to use tools to teach those with auditory abilities. These are known as assistive technical capabilities. Some examples of these include:

  • Personal Amplification Systems
  • C-Print which has a speech-to-text feature
  • Speech synthesizer
  • FM systems to improve sound an instructor’s microphone

Teaching a student with hearing loss might be a little challenging. However, an educator’s job is to make every teaching approach as inclusive as possible. Apply these tips in your classroom, and you will spearhead positive change in their lives.

When Your First Born Is Legally Blind: The Struggles That Parents Have To Deal With

Nothing beats the excitement and fear that you feel upon learning that you will soon become parents. Expecting your first-born would give you mixed emotions, which include the extreme mood swings and weird cravings that come along the entire pregnancy; the Couvade’s Syndrome that husbands usually experience, and the paranoia that you get when negative thoughts invade your mind. However, more than the worries you have are the happiness you feel as parents-in-waiting, knowing that your love has given birth to life – a symbol of your love.  

Sudden Blindness: Surviving The Mishap

It is true that the only thing that is constant in life is change, but when the change becomes an unexpected mishap, it makes life hard to live with because every day you would have to deal with that change. However, we must accept the fact that life has its ways of dealing with things with us, as we all have different weights to bear, and it is a matter of how we seal the deal with life.  

From Online Counseling: How To Date A Person With SPD

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) affects children to become overly sensitive or under sensitive towards different stimuli affecting the senses. This disorder is commonly associated with autism spectrum disorder but it can affect children and even through adulthood with accompanying co-morbidities. It is frequently diagnosed in preschool age.

Jean Ayres, PhD, likened SPD to a neurological “traffic jam that prevents certain parts of the brain from receiving the information needed to interpret sensory information correctly.”

“These kids are not breaking down in school because their parents are doing a bad job or because they are bad kids. Their brains are wired differently,” says Elysa Marco, MD, a cognitive and behavioral pediatric neurologist at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco.…

Benefits Of Letting People Know About Your Disability

benefits-of-letting-people-know-about-your-disability-1

Source: pixabay.com

Becoming disabled after an accident is more complicated than being born with a disability. The reason is that you have had a taste of a “normal” life already. You have been able to do whatever you want without worrying about any part of your body failing after an hour or two. You can ride a motorcycle or even go up the steps in your house without asking for assistance from anyone. Then, all of a sudden, you find yourself in a helpless situation, and there is nothing that you or the doctors can do about it.

Because of that, most disabled individuals try to hide what’s wrong with them as much as possible. “There are feelings of shame, embarrassment, vulnerability, paranoia. Disclosing your illness can make you feel isolated and less valuable,” said psychotherapist Katie Willard Virant, JD, MSW, LCSW.

If someone ends up hearing about their problem, they get mad at the person who talked about it without their consent. In their mind, the people who already see them in their new state will mock or pity them. Understandably, it will not sit well with them.

However, the truth is that there are a few benefits that come with letting people know about your disability.

1. You Will Realize Who Genuinely Care For You

Persons with disabilities are one of the last groups whose equal rights have been recognized, said Jody Heymann, MD, PhD.

Thus, the first thing that you can accomplish by announcing your situation is that you will realize who genuinely care for you. If we stick to honesty here, we are all aware that the perception of people about us can change when something terrible happens to us. Some of your friends may decide to stay away from you, thinking that you are now a liability. Others may talk negatively behind your back, too. Despite that, there will undoubtedly be several sweet souls who will come forward and lend you a helping hand, no strings attached.

2. They Will Go Out Of Their Way To Accommodate You

benefits-of-letting-people-know-about-your-disability-2

Source: pixabay.com

When you tell your loved ones or acquaintances that you already have a permanent disability, you are not robbing them of their chance to plan gatherings that will not be uncomfortable for you.

According to Mayra Mendez, PhD, LMFT, “Part of not being lonely is not taking for granted the people that are already in your life.” It’ll help you keep friends in your life.

For instance, in case you cannot get out of your wheelchair, they can decide to do a staycation instead of going on a hike. If you cannot see anymore, they will not prepare games that require the use of your sense of sight.

3. You Can Avoid Shocking New Acquaintances

Letting people know about your disability allows them to process how they feel about the situation. After all, if your positions have been reversed, and you find out that a colleague is now a PWD when you face them, you may not know how to react as well. Various expressions may be evident on your face, such as shock, pity, sadness, and other negativities. However, if you inform them beforehand, you are allowing them to avoid making a mess in front of you.

Final Thoughts

benefits-of-letting-people-know-about-your-disability-3

Source: pixabay.com

It is not a bad idea to tell everyone in your circle about your disability. It does not turn you into an attention-seeking person either who has to have everyone at their beck and call. Doing so will be convenient not only for you but also for the people around you.…

Going To A Theme Park With Your Sensory-Challenged Child

going-to-a-theme-park-with-your-sensory-challenged-child-1

Source: pixabay.com

Going to a theme park like Disneyland is a fun activity that my husband and I thought we had to give up. We found out before James, our firstborn, turned one year old, that he has Asperger’s Syndrome. From what the psychiatrist has told us, we know that it is a high-functioning form of autism. It entails that he will most likely be able to go to a regular school and do a lot of things that non-disabled kids do. However, noises and visuals can overwhelm him, so it is a challenge to take our son to crowded places.

Laurent Mottron, MD, PhD, and Jacob Ari Burack, PhD, noted, “In contrast to the common notion of autism as simply a disorder of social development with one or more specific impairments related to understanding and participating in reciprocal social interactions, more current conceptualizations are based on the notion of a condition that involves complex patterns of atypical processes, especially in the areas of perception, attention and motor development.”

While James was watching cartoons on TV one time, though, he showed an interest in theme parks. He was mesmerized by the colors on the screen, as well as the rides that other kids were riding. I asked his doctor if James could go to Disneyland, and I was glad to know that it could happen. What made me happier, though, was learning that the said theme park has sensory support services in place for guests with disabilities. The simple explanation about it is that they will give your child a Disney’s disability card, which will act like a Fastpass and keep you from waiting in lines for hours.

Still, before allocating one weekend to a theme park adventure with the entire family, there are a few things that you should remember.

Prepare Your Sensory-Challenged Kid Beforehand

going-to-a-theme-park-with-your-sensory-challenged-child-2

Source: pixabay.com

Your primary agenda is to make sure that going to Disneyland will not be the first time that your child will be around a lot of people. As a test, you may take them to a natural park near your house. If they don’t react adversely to it, you can try bringing them to a mall. Though the sensory-challenged kid may not get used to the setting entirely, they will not freak out when they see a crowd at least.

Learn About Every Attraction Early

Knowledge is power, especially when we are talking about the rides that your child can try. Most theme parks have websites that you can visit these days, and they provide information about every attraction that they have. You should read about all of them to figure out which ones to avoid.

Pick The Least Busy Time

It is always best to be at the theme park as soon as it open. The benefit of doing so is that you can ascertain that a guest assistant will be available to help you throughout the day. You can also make sure that the entire staff knows about your child’s disability. This way, no one will try to shake their hand or talk to them, regardless of how friendly the characters may be.

In her book, “Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight,” Sharon Heller, PhD, tackled the sensory processing disorder experience. She wrote, “People with a severe case suffer hair-rising sensitivity to barely noticeable stimuli. A gentle hand on their shoulder can feel like a claw if you suddenly pat their back.”

Take Your Child’s “Must-Haves” With You

Going to a theme park can make your child susceptible to different trigger factors. Not to mention, their exhaustion can increase their crankiness over time.

As explained by Aimee Piller, PhD, OTR/L and Joseph Barimo, EdD, MBA, CCC-SLP, “When the nervous system is in a state of high alert, attention is difficult, and a child’s frustration tolerance tends to be lower.”

To prevent an episode, therefore, you should bring noise-canceling headphones or earplugs to shield them from the sounds. If their sense of sight gets overwhelmed easily, feel free to bring sunglasses, too.

Final Thoughts

going-to-a-theme-park-with-your-sensory-challenged-child-3

Source: pixabay.com

You are not a bad mom or dad for allowing your disabled child to do what they want, even if it is technically against protocol. As long as the doctor allows it, then there is no reason for you not to take your beloved son or daughter anywhere.

Good luck!…

Learning About Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park And The Sensory Benefits Of Going There

learning-about-curtis-hixon-waterfront-park-and-the-sensory-benefits-of-going-there-1

Source: pixabay.com

After years of planning how to make the available space more conducive to Tampa’s inhabitants and the tourists who come to the place, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park was launched to the public in the year 2010 as an integral part of the Riverwalk project. Tampa already had a park before the latter’s conception. However, it was a bit isolated from the rest of the city and sort of restricted access to the river. For this reason, its administrators decided to do a major reconstruction. The square is close to where the demolished Curtis Hixon Hall was located. It also leads down to the serene river that is the main highlight of the grounds.

There are many things an individual or a family can do in the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Fountains have been strategically built all over the gardens, for one. They are refreshing to look at, especially when you are resting on the terraces or pavilions situated in the vicinity. If you have come to the park with your kids or dog(s), the municipality has made sure that there will be playgrounds created for both humans and animals to attract a higher number of visitors.

In their research on the vital psychological role that nature plays in our lives, Rachel Kaplan, Ph.D., and Stephen Kaplan, Ph.D.,  finds that, “[d]esign can also encourage learning and exploration by creating spaces that are not immediately interpreted but allow discovery through sensory exploration.”

Because of the vastness of the greenspace, it is no longer surprising either that it has become an event location for leisurely activities. In truth, it is now a venue for art shows, live musical performances, yoga classes, and many more.

In just a short period, the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park’s reputation has changed positively. It is now even known as Tampa’s very own town square since a lot of folks love to experience a bit of nature in the city.

How Can A Visit To Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park Provide Sensory Support?

learning-about-curtis-hixon-waterfront-park-and-the-sensory-benefits-of-going-there-2

Source: pixabay.com

The basic idea is that everyone has to develop their five senses: touch, sight, smell, hearing, and taste. It comes naturally for most individuals, but for some, they need a little help in that department. That is one of the main reasons why going to a park like Curtis Hixon’s in Tampa, Florida is a great thing.

“It helps to be well-versed about the benefits of exposure to natural light, the mood benefits of moderate exercise and the fact that we’re not built to be sedentary,” Jennifer Lager, PsyD, says.

While some trees and pavilions offer shade, you can sit or lie down on the grass. In truth, you may even run around and not be afraid of getting bruised because of the cushioning that the soil provides. You can also feel the wind and the sunlight against your skin. Of course, since it is an open ground, you will be able to see what other park-goers are doing, as well as hear the songs that they may be playing or singing. If you go there during a special event, you may even join in the festivities.

“Like many business people, my job is sedentary and indoors. I try to step outside even for just a few minutes to take some deep breaths of fresh air and feel the sun on my skin,” Dr. Jamie Long, PsyD, says.

To Sum Things Up

learning-about-curtis-hixon-waterfront-park-and-the-sensory-benefits-of-going-there-3

Source: pixabay.com

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is a gift in so many ways. Not only does it offer a new cool hangout for the citizens of Tampa, but it can also cater to individuals who have sensory-processing issues. Anytime you visit Florida. Therefore, you should not miss a chance to spend a day in this park.

Cheers!…