So my name is Alessandro. Deborah. And our children are called Zack, Dylan and Keisha. Zack and Dylan are twin brothers. They are 7-years-old and Keisha is 9-years-old. And Zack and Dylan were born deaf.
Severe to profoundly. We were shocked, completely shocked,
because we had no other people in the family with the problem of hearing.
I guess the immediate concern was would they ever be able to speak. I think the good thing was that
we were confronted right away, essentially after 3 weeks after they were born
with the choice of whether we wanted to go ahead with the implant or not. For us, because it was so early on, we made right away the decision to go for surgery. The actual date of surgery was
exactly on their 7 months. After implant it went really fast I think.
Probably within 3 months they started saying a few words and then when they turned one,
we had a feeling they were developing at normal pace. What we did with languages was,
as soon as they were fitted with hearing aids we spoke to them in Italian
and that was the first six months. As soon as they got their implant,
we had moved to Mexico. We did speak Italian at home,
the therapist spoke Spanish and we didn’t speak and English then
so it was a mix of Spanish and Italian up until the age of two years old
and then when we moved to the UK we started everything with English. So there was a combination of at least two languages.
Italian/Spanish at the beginning and Italian/English when we moved to the UK. So we started Auditory-Verbal Therapy
because it was the suggestion from our doctors and we continued it all the time,
until they were four years old. *Therapist sings in Spanish* So the language they use at home
all the time is English. So we speak with them in Italian,
we talk to them in Italian but they would answer most of the time in English. La tigre è una persona. Ah bene.
And I need to go onto the moon. I mean our role as parents is just to create
the space for them to do whatever they want. My hope is that they’re self-aware enough
to understand what they want to do and then go for it. Yeah At the beginning it was not easy because we were oh, now if we say they’re deaf
they’re going to say… they’re going to see our kids in a different way
which is very tough for parents so this was a very big challenge for us. Now, if I could say to other parents,
I would say be proud of them because they can reach any goal they want in any kind of language,
they can reach any goal they want.