I think driving in a car is really the least of her worries.
Yep - she's just like any other teenager in that regard - sure that she's indestructable and not worried at all. It's not the least of my worries however and wouldn't be even if she had full use of all five of her senses.
But it's the only one of my worries in this situation that I have any control over and can directly do anything about.
I'm sure you're an excellent driver, as many deaf people are - because as other deaf people have explained to me - you've probably honed your ability to use your sense of sight and be hypervigilant in that regard while you're driving.
She's a teenager - she'll be distracted constantly- even if she didn't have to turn her head from the road to watch peoples' lips as they talk to her-
the fact that she can't hear is not my biggest worry - it's the fact that she has shown me that she is so tuned in to peer pressure that she would rather not hear and appear 'normal' than accept who she is and hear.
And actually the use of my car to learn to drive and drive is leverage I have to get her to wear her hearing aids.
So, it is a big worry for me. If she fails a class - she'll live through it. If she crashes a car - she might not.
If her hearing is that bad, do you know if part of her problem is that she feels the hearing aid just doesn't help her? It was in that range (a little worse) that I started feeling like the hearing aids were more a distraction than a help. A bit after that I started learning ASL which burst my world wide open. I highly recommend that but I realize that's another discussion yet.
Her hearing aids do help her. Here's the deal. She's seventeen. She's American in England. She's adopted. She's interracial. She has a lot of differences. She said to me when we moved back here, 'Mom - I just want to try to be normal...can we not tell people that I'm adopted?' I told her that was her choice...now she's told her friends everything about herself, and she does have a lot of friends. She just doesn't want to add hearing aids into the mix at this point.
It's not a choice I agree with, but I understand how she feels. I think it will change.
As long as she is functioning - and she is - I'm not going to force the issue. In fact I really can't - and when your child is seventeen, you'll find out- they've become their own person and they make decisions you have to live with.
I'm just happy this is the only decision she's made that I totally don't agree with.
I've seen it myself in other teenagers (the bad choices they make)- it could be a LOT, LOT worse- I feel lucky in that respect.
I would be perfectly happy to write something to her that you could pass on. If her hearing aids are useful to her -- if she can hear and comprehend things with them in that she can't without -- she is making a decision now that will affect the rest of her life, from the social arena (and not in a good way) to her post-high school educational opportunities and career and LIFE. It's just way too big for vanity to get in the way of (and again it was hardly a blip for me, in terms of what the choice is exactly).
That's kind of you, but I think it's under control. She has a lot of friends, a boyfriend- socially she's fine. We've talked about the fact that if her friends are real friends they won't say a word about her hearing aids and she knows they wouldn't - they all know she's supposed to wear them - she just doesn't want to. Actually, I'm surprised (happily so) she's taking her exams in the hearing classroom- I see that as a big step in the right direction. Thatwasn't happening last year.
Yep, it is vanity. I actually think it's harder to be almost perfect looking than not (and she is - she's been scouted by modeling agents- so far she's too short- not 5'7). She puts a lot of stock in her outward appearance. From the time she's been a baby, people have told her how beautiful she is-to the point that I have on occasion asked them not to say that to her anymore and to focus on some other aspect of her being.
The hearing aids don't fit in with her picture of herself and who she wants people to see her as.
I hope that changes when she becomes more mature and out of the teenage years when most people focus on their own outward appearance and that of everyone else.
I think it will - she's not a shallow, surface-driven person in general.
As I said - we're coping- and that's better than some teenagers do who don't have all the extra 'issues' she has.
She's a great girl - I better stop talking about her now - or she'll never forgive me.