Monday, March 1, 2010

He's Just Like Me!-Deaf Characters in Books

Christian has always loved books. As a little baby just fitted with hearing aids, we read the Priddy Happy Baby books. We would sign and speak, and he would always laugh and respond to the books so positively. Now at 3, I'll often find him sitting in his comfy chair or his cozy corner in the playroom leafing through books and "reading" his story aloud. His teachers tell us that he is always one of the first children in his class to pick up a book during choice time and after snack. He enjoys picking out new books at the library almost as much as he enjoys playing with his Spiderman! He's starting to identify letters, and we're learning that the best way to introduce new concepts to Christian is by reinforcing them with books and stories.Books are becoming such a part of Christian's life, and I hope to chronicle some of them that we're reading together through the blog.

Christian's Aunt Kate (who happens to be my oldest and dearest friend AND who just happens to have professional journalist and library specialist on her resume) sent him a very special book entitled Dad and Me in the Morning by Patricia Lakin. The story is about Jacob, a preschool aged little boy who is deaf and shares special, simple moments with his Dad. The illustrations are beautiful, and showcase Jacob's special alarm clock flashing, his hearing aids, and even Jacob signing with his Dad. Christian loves pointing to the little boy's hearing aids, and showing me the signs that Jacob signs to his Dad.

As Christian gets older, I'm starting worry about his self-image and self-esteem. While we've been lucky so far, I know there will be a day when he will get taunted for his hearing loss. I worry about him feeling lonely and different. He's the only person in our family with hearing loss, and in 2 short years, he'll be the only kid in school with a Cochlear Implant. I'm hoping by giving him an opportunity to read books with Deaf/HOH characters that it will some how enhance the seeds of positive self-image and confidence that I work so hard everyday to plant within him.


PinkLAM said...

I also heard about another book for little kids with hearing loss/CIs. It's not for sale yet, but I think it's a fun little book geared towards toddlers. You can find more about it at

I personally think you're doing a great job of making Christian feel confident of himself. I know it's one of those things that you can't help but worry about, but I honestly can't recall a time when I was ever teased because of my hearing loss. I had some kids ask genuinely curious questions, but that was about it.

The Brights said...

Thanks for sharing!

I was just trying to decide which new "just like me" book(s) to purchase for Tayten. We still read Happy Birthday to My Ears every few days and as much as we love it, I think it is time for a change!

Abby had written a post with some other books listed as well,

I wonder if there is a parent out there that has compiled a list of "just like me" books. If so, I hope they'll share!