Josh’s Journey


1. Describe Josh's Journey

Between 1-4 years Joshua was medically deaf as a result of an ear infection. Simple communication was difficult, until we started sign language with him. This improved our communication significantly. He is not deaf anymore so we don’t use it so much, but for that period it was great. He battled to speak and simple situations were stressful. He was deprived of the early stages of language development which has delayed his journey.

2. Has it inhibited you/your child from joining any engagements?

We did not stop him from any normal acts or activities and tried as much as possible to allow him to see life as any other kid would. Josh has undergone few procedures and still attends occupational and speech therapy. He has accelerated in his language development as a result of the exposure so all activities are encouraged. We did not want him growing up thinking that he is inadequate, so even if he did not get his hearing back, the exposure and inclusion would keep him confident. Self esteem among children with disabilities can be quiet low if they’re not included and given opportunities to soar.

3. Are people tolerant/ accepting/ accommodating of this?

Not many. People often think that disabled children are concurrently stupid, which is not the case; only the disability is the handicap at hand.

4. What would you like society to know?

Have a passion for anybody who is handicapped. Don’t wait for something to happen before you make that decision. Teach your kids that disabled people are equal and should be accommodated where necessary. Disability was not their choice.  Sign-language has to be part of normal school curriculum. It is also not only used for deaf people. I know that first hand. Imagine how much of the world we could open up if we could all sign?

5. What can society/family/friends/ work do to make it easier for you/your child?

Schools should be more accommodating, it starts there. If the school or the household do not instil inclusive values and create awareness, how do we expect our kids to learn? If a disabled child cannot come to his/her school it creates an instant barrier indicating that the excluded child is perhaps not worthy or can not be educated with the “able” children.