A Life Changed

Published Wed, Apr 03, 19. Written by Teresa Anderson.

 

“Really? Send my deaf child to school? What’s next after schooling? Could she get a job?”

Parents often ask questions like these when our teachers and staff visit the homes of deaf children to recruit them to school. Convincing a family to send their child to school has never been easy.  Most parents are doubtful and unaware of their deaf child’s capabilities. Some would say helping deaf children is not worth it, but IDEA perseveres in doing our mission to help and serve the deaf.

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The Elementary Achiever

Grace was one of those kids that our teacher visited again and again until she finally came to school. When she was 10 years old, Grace went to Loon Special Education (SPED) Center, but only a week after, her mother brought her back home because she kept crying in school. At that time, her parents enrolled her in a hearing class. Together with her sister, she attended a hearing school until the family realized it wasn’t easy for their deaf child to get along with the kids in their mainstream class. Her parents eventually decided to bring her back to Loon at the age of 14 to formally start schooling.

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Grace and her Fellow Deaf Performing an Invocatory Dance

Despite a low income, her parents strived hard to get through each day to allow Grace and her two siblings to continue their studies. Her father worked as a motorcycle-for-hire driver while her mother took care of the cockpit arena beside their house where she was paid a meager amount.

Grace became so absorbed in school and growing in her new dorm environment that she barely noticed her newfound independence. Her family was glad to see Grace thriving in a place where she no longer felt isolated and ignorant. At the dorm, she was helpful with chores and she led the younger kids like a big sister. Aside from academics, she was also able to develop her talent in dancing. When she reached high school at Bohol Deaf Academy, the vocational skills training increased her confidence. She learned sewing, how to make soap, baking, and computer graphics. On Graduation Day, she received the award, Best in Sewing.