Tone of Voice Important Teaching Tool for Kids
We're constantly being told as parents not to yell at our kids, or each other. Even though we know we're not supposed to, most of us feel there is a time or place for yelling and using different tones and pitches to convey meaning to our children. It's an ability we take for granted. But, what if those vocal tools weren't available to us? What if all we were left with was whispering, or yelling? Would communication be rendered ineffective except in its most basic form?
Lydia Denworth struggles with that communication every day. Her son, Alex, lost a good portion of his hearing when he was eighteen months old. Although Alex still has hearing in one of his ears, when his hearing went so did a valuable communication tool. Sometimes the only way she can communicate with him is by yelling. Alex has a hearing device that works wonders for him, but takes it out before bed and at other appropriate times, when, as we know, kids seem to raise their most important questions. Things that are best communicated quietly and delicately become a shouting match. The information is imparted, sure, but the nuance is totally lost. When Lydia was trying to explain the events of September 11th to Alex on night before bed, she ended up screaming the end result as he'd already removed his equipment
Lydia laments that before Alex was diagnosed with hearing loss, "never heard me when I whispered "I love you" or sang him soft lullabies." She and Alex are embarking on a new journey of communication together in order to try to remedy the lack of tone and nuance -- sign language, which has a whole set of tones and nuances all its own. It may take them both a lifetime to learn this new language and its subtleties, but there is one thing Lydia has learned, which is that "drums can be played quietly too" and that she intends to take as much advantage in the quiet moments as a mother can.
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