Monday, April 12, 2010

Yea, we saw "Mr Hollands Opus"

One day I was working at my at gallery/studio space. Wait let me backtrack....

Before my son was even a whisper of a thought my husband and I worked in film and television. It was a great life for a young couple with no kids. My husband was working as an PA early in his career when we lived in Portland. He was called to do some days on "Mr. Holland's Opus". One of the scenes he worked on was the at the end when the music teacher dad finally gets it and directs a concert that his son could enjoy. The other scene he worked on we lived out in real life.

So one day when my son was very small I was sitting outside of my art gallery with my business partner. My son had been showing signs of hearing loss. Every day he seemed to be showing signs of hearing us but not the way we expected. It seemed selective. The waiting was killing me as I studied his every move searching for a response to the sound that I presented him. I felt so lost not knowing what was going on.

We faced the street and my son faced us in his stroller. A fire engine came crashing down the street sirens blasting. I felt a pain assault my eardrums as I looked to my son. He didn't flinch. Not a blink, squeak or response of any kind came from my sweet little boy. I quickly asked my partner if she saw that and just as I did another engine came barreling down the street assaulting my ears once more. As we both looked at my son he sat staring at us with a drowsy smile waiting for a nap. At that moment I knew.

I called his doctor. He told me to relax. He told me to stop reading so many parenting books. He shook keys by my son's head to prove his point. I couldn't relax and later we found out the truth. Well if you read my blog you know my son is really Deaf.

We always find it strange that in the movie a fire engine blares a siren with no response from the son and my husband was there during the shooting of that scene. The story from that point doesn't resemble us at all really but my husband only worked on those two scenes.


  1. Deafness being so highly variable, if my mother had used a fire siren as a hearing test, I would have passed. (Not the key test, though.)

    Other tests involved banging pots and clapping books shut. Or turning up the TV. Duh. Such low-frequency loud noises can be heard or felt by just about every Deaf kid.

    Doctors are notorious for pooh-poohing the hearing concerns of parents...if one has worries, get a pediatric audiologist. If the diagnosis is confirmed, get further information from the best Deaf professionals in your area.

  2. This is what happened to my Mama - she had to fight to get us properly tested and by then I was 2 and my sister 4. It took years and years of speech therapy before our speech was back to normal, etc. Bloody doctors.

  3. It amazes me how some doctors play the role of audiologists, when they have no idea what they are talking about.
    Some parents I work with had doctors who told them that there is really no need for hearing aids for their children with mild hearing losses. Some of the parents told similar stories of how the doctor performed their own hearing tests (clapping hands, using loud speech, etc.).
    Now, some of the parents' children have obvious speech difficulties and now being almost teenagers, they refuse to wear hearing aids.

    Thanks a lot doctors.


  4. Wow, this post sent chills up and down my spine! Fate has a funny (not as in hahaha but you know what I mean) way of presenting our future path to us!

  5. I'm with Keri -- chills...