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I meet a lot of wonderful people with some form of disability in my line of work as a nurse. It always saddens me when I see the difficulties, the ridicule and isolation they must endure because of their illness or condition.
Children are not born prejudiced, they learn hate and intolerance from the world around them. They learn from the angry sigh and frown of the adult who gets annoyed when they have to wait a minute longer on line because the person in the wheelchair has difficulties reaching the counter. They learn from the disgusted smile on the face of an adult when they see an overweight person eating in a restaurant. They learn from the adult imitating a hearing impaired person's speech with sarcastic, ridiculing tone in their voice.
I write fantasy novels, but I decided to publish this book for children about the hardship of hearing loss.
This fun picture book carries an important message to children, how to learn not to judge or make fun of anyone just because they’re different. The life of any disabled person is no fun and living with a disability has many challenges, but we can help to make their life easier and not harder.
When Grandma Rosa lost her hearing, Sandra’s parents became frustrated and sad. They didn’t know what to do and how to learn to communicate better with her. They tried shouting, changing the tone of their voices or leaning closer to her ear when they talked, to no avail. Rosa could hear some sounds clearly, but certain sounds she couldn’t hear well. It became an everyday struggle for them, and they missed the comforting family conversations at dinner time.
“Look, Grandma,” Sandra said to her grandmother one day. “I can show you the letters with my fingers when you can’t hear what I say.”
“What do you mean showing it with your fingers?” Grandma Rosa asked.
“I found a website for hearing impaired people, and it explains how they can talk to each other without words. There is a sign for every letter and number that they can make with their hands. We can learn the signs together,” Sandra smiled happily.
“Oh, I think that’s a wonderful idea, Sandra,” Grandma’s eyes sparkled with excitement. “But it looks a little difficult. Do you think I could learn the signs?”
“Of course, you can, Grandma, we can learn them together.
And they did. They proved that with compassion, love, and hard work, they can overcome the obstacles of disability together.
Sandra and Grandma Rosa learn to sign the first word together
Thomas is a bright young boy. He can't hear, but when he tries to talk, kids make fun of him.
Sandra is happy that she can say "Hi" to him with her fingers. They become friends.
This fun picture book carries an important message to children, how to learn not to judge or make fun of anyone just because they’re different.
Available in English & Spanish
Erika M Szabo
Author of urban fantasy, magical realism novels and children's books,
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