Practice English Speaking&Listening with: My Brother Has Hearing Loss

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Hello, my name is Bobby, I'm fourteen, and I have a little brother named Johnny who is severely to profoundly deaf.

Having a brother who has significant hearing loss, has not really changed our family,

but it's tweaked some things, you know?

In the way that it's a little more anxiousness than I think there would be otherwise, more things to worry about.

There is a big cost, to everyone in the family of having to help a handicapped child along.

And Bobby lost out on a lot of attention, and he lost out on a lot of activities,

and there were a lot of times where we would be doing something that was related to deafness,

and he would be, "Why are doing this? Why can't we do things that I want to do?"

"Well, Bobby", you know, you can't say to a six-year-old,

"Early intervention is important, and the more we put in now, the better off he's going to be in the long run."

We try to include Bobby in Johnny's accomplishments, you know,

"Bobby, Johnny did this, you know and it was partially because you were modeling sound like we told you to,"

or "you repeated" or "you worked with him."

Of course, you know, you feel that when you have a brother who's deaf,

or has a disability of any kind that they'll get more attention for it, and that kind of thing,

but it's the same as if you were born in a large family

where your parents can't really spend the time with you because they have other people to deal with.

And perhaps it's a little bit worse, because you can get jealous of one person for more,

but other than that it's really no different, in my opinion.

My brother did have to rely on me, especially when I was a lot younger with the um,

like whenever we would go out into a public place, the confidence which later arose in him, just wasn't there.

And he'd rely on me and so, I learned to be pretty responsible, very quickly.

Because I was in charge of two people most of the time.

Perhaps I'm a little bit more patient than I would have been without,

without Johnny because you need to be patient with someone who has a hearing loss.

That's really the most important thing.

Bobby and Johnny are two years apart and they are close enough to play together,

and they're close enough to be rivals in a lot of things.

And it's sort of a wonderful alchemy that Johnny has taken upon himself to be a rival to Bobby,

and this has spurred him, it has helped him because he wants to do everything that Bobby can do.

And he wants to outdo Bobby in everything because he's a little brother and he has a chip on his shoulder.

It's not too hard to be a sibling in one of these situations.

Some people would say that it's worse to be a bystander than the actual person,

because then you're worrying after them,

but in my situation, I've never really had to worry for Johnny because he doesn't need any worrying done for him.

He just doesn't see any adversity. He doesn't see trouble.

He doesn't see problems that arise and that kind of thing. And he mows past them as if they aren't there.

He'll just set out to do it with this kind of confident look in his eyes, like nothing could ever stop him, and he'll do it.

It really makes me believe that if you believe something enough, it becomes true.

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