By Rosabel O. Agbayani, MPH

“If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” -Mother Theresa

Sometimes we think that in order to make change we have to make a lot of noise. What I have learned from my experience of raising my children, and especially raising my deaf child, is that you have to be able to drown out the noise and listen to your heart.

We found out my son was deaf in September 2010. I’m not sure why I was so shocked because after almost 6 months of testing we finally had an answer. But I still remember that feeling when I heard the words “Your son has a hearing loss.”

by Michelle Hu Lapid

Pediatric Audiologist & Bilateral Cochlear Implant Recipient

If you told my mother 30 years ago that her daughter would graduate high school and college with honors, she actually might have had some doubts. This is because, thirty years ago, when the doctors confirmed my hearing loss, they also told her that I would likely not go beyond a 3rd grade reading level.

by Gwen Suennen, M.A.

Have you ever wondered what enables our deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) child to attend/focus and perform in a certain way? One process which helps them is called "sensory integration", which is the neurologic ability of our brain to organize information we receive through our senses and make appropriate motor and behavioral responses. It is essential for developing attention, body awareness, balance, fine and gross motor coordination, social/emotional growth, as well as academic skills. Without good sensory integration, learning is difficult and the child often feels uncomfortable about him/her self. This can lead to difficulty coping with ordinary demands and stress.

by Cora Shahid

California Hands & Voices Membership Chair

All parents intuitively want to be good advocates for their child but in the beginning, we might not know exactly how to do that. Here are some steps that you can take to help you be effective while becoming more experienced. Know your child’s strengths and weaknesses, the law and how it relates to your child, be courteous and respectful while standing up for your child’s rights, stay organized, keep track of conversations and be prepared for meetings.

by Rosabel Agbayani

Member of California Hands & Voices

I have always been attracted to the caring, compassionate, and purposeful work of health services. I spent 5 years working as an Administrative Medical Assistant in and worked in Healthcare Administration for several years with a focus on Patient Relations and Quality Improvement. Working with physicians and specialists providing health and human services, I thought I knew all there was to know about caring for people and helping families.

However, on September 30, 2010 my family received a diagnosis that would change the course of our lives. Our healthy and active 3½ year-old son Michael was diagnosed with Pre-lingual Moderate-Severe Bilateral Conductive Hearing Loss.

About CA Hands & Voices

California Hands & Voices is dedicated to supporting families with children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in a respectful and non-judgmental manner regarding language opportunities, communication tools or educational approaches. We’re a parent-driven, non-profit organization providing families with the resources, networks, and information to improve communication access and educational outcomes for their children.

Support ♥

California Hands & Voices is a non-profit organization that depends on the support of its members to succeed. Please consider donating or becoming a member.

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California Hands & Voices
c/o Cora Shahid
15274 Andorra Way
San Diego CA 92129


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