The Elephant in the Room
“The Elephant in the Room” is about Skyler, a 9 year old boy who happens to wear hearing aids. Today, right from the Flash of his morning alarm clock, he doesn’t feel much like talking. And no wonder. As we follow him through his morning, we see him become frustrated from misunderstanding what other members of his family are saying. His little sister Maizy tags along, and with the help of observations made by her special friend (a stuffed toy elephant ) we learn what it takes to help Skyler feel like talking again. The real ‘elephant in the room’ is Skyler’s hearing loss, and the recognition is that good communication practice is helpful for everyone.
If you would like to purchase a bulk order (five or more), contact Jim directly!
If you purchase the book online, there is a DISCUSSION GUIDE, click here.....
Notably - "The Elephant in the Room" has been published this year (2019-2020)as a video interpreted for the deaf, being chosen and featured in two countries! First, on TuriTV, the best Deaf and Hard of Hearing educational video content New Zealand has to offer from Deaf Education NZ. View it now interpreted in New Zealand Sign Language on: https://turitv.ezystream.com/#/ - (choose “Deaf Focus” Categories.)
And Second, by the Nashville Public Library Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing....and you can Watch it NOW---->
What is the "Elephant" in the room, after all?
Most people make the following assumption: If you have a hearing loss, average speech is just not loud enough, and if you use a hearing aid you should be able to understand because they help to make sounds louder (unless you are Deaf and do not have residual hearing).
But it’s not that simple. Each person's hearing loss is unique, and aside from the loudness factor, there is also the issue of clarity. Hearing aids can only do so much - while they can emphasise speech and suppress environmental "background" noise, they cannot yet separate out a desired speech signal from competing speech.
And if you’re a child with a hearing loss who has trouble understanding others, you may feel like you’re the problem. You might feel guilty or inadequate because you miss things even with a hearing aid, so you try to ‘get by’ by bluffing or just withdraw to avoid others. And the normally hearing people close to you may not even realize this is happening, or if they do, they may choose to ignore or minimize it because they don’t know what else to do. The hearing loss becomes the ‘Elephant in the Room”.
Communication is a two way street. The truth is that both parties in a conversation must take responsibility for getting their message across. We can start by teaching children in their formative years clear steps that can improve how well they may be understood:
This book was conceived and written to help parents and teachers present the problem of miscommunication to their young children, discuss how it makes people feel, and suggest simple accommodations we can use to be better understood. And, of course, provide some fun in the process!
Here is some praise the book has received among its customers on amazon.com:
As a parent of a child with a hearing loss, this book was an especially good find. My children have enjoyed hearing and reading it, and it was a good reminder to all of us in the home of just how challenging it is for a child with a hearing loss in our hearing-centered world on a daily basis. Gentle and clear reminders throughout the book teach, and reteach, simple strategies that parents, siblings, friends, classmates, teachers, etc. can incorporate throughout the day as they interact with a child with hearing loss. This book is fabulous for home, school, clinic practice, etc. with its broad reach and appeal. I can't recommend it highly enough!
Amy Shaw, Speech and Language Pathologist
What an informative and engaging book about the challenges faced daily by children with hearing loss and the solutions so practical and obvious, at least to Maizy. The illustrations are top notch! This book belongs in every school library and every audiology office that deals with children.
Teresa, Amazon user
Enjoyed this book so much and will be recommending it to friends dealing with hearing loss. At the same time humorous and insightful, this little book teaches us the simple strategies needed to help us communicate more clearly with someone who has a hearing impairment. Very engaging illustrations and text!
Jane, Amazon user