This week, Lori Steed Sortino shares her experiences of raising her son, Daniel, who is Deaf. Lori’s blog, Deaf Son, Hearing Mother, emphasizes the positives. Daniel opened Lori’s eyes to a new world of possibilities. Despite the obstacles in his way, Daniel thrived and later became a successful college student. However, the journey wasn’t easy. Lori and her now ex-husband Joe fought to become advocates for their child and faced a great deal of resistance from the school district. While Daniel’s teachers wanted to help him, they were stuck in a system that was unresponsive to Daniel’s needs because of budget constraints. After her difficult experiences, Lori was inspired to work with a parent advocacy group to ensure that the needs of other Deaf children are being met. She emphasizes how critical it is for parents to join a network of support.
There are three main types of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural, and mixed. Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem with the outer ear canal, and sound cannot effectively travel to the middle ear. A child with sensorineural hearing loss has damage to the inner ear. Mixed hearing loss is a combination of the two. In order to understand the different types of hearing loss, it is helpful to understand how people actually hear and interpret sounds.