Our son, Silas, was almost certainly born with hearing loss, but due to a number of struggles, he wasn’t diagnosed until after 2 years old. It was an uphill battle (many lessons in advocacy) to get to the place where the right professional facilitated the right testing to finally reach the right diagnosis.
Once diagnosed, I turned to books to help both of my children understand and normalize Sy’s hearing devices/hearing loss. What I found was a disappointing lack of young children’s books with main characters who are deaf or hard of hearing and displaying hearing devices or alternate means of communicating (with pride!).
Over the course of the following year and a half, and with the dedication of the one-and-only Priscila Soares, I created & published “All the Ways I Hear You,” a young children’s picture book that prioritizes inclusion, diversity (of people, devices and communication options) and positive representation.
Are you inspired by Sila’s Story?
If you can’t find it, make it. When Stephanie approached me with her idea of a children’s book for pre-schoolers, I was beyond excited. Her story honored kids with all types of hearing loss. In a way, I related it to what I’ve been doing with my art. It was the first book I ever illustrated and Silas turned out to be an adorable little character named Sy who introduces us to all of his friends in the DHH world.