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Story of the Month

Clodagh: My story so far!

Posted: 1st June 2017


In this month’s Story of the Month Clodagh Enright, a secondary student from County Kerry, tells us about her experiences growing up as a young deaf person.

My name is Clodagh, I am 14 years old and I am in my second year in secondary school in Castleisland, County Kerry. I have a profound bi-lateral hearing loss. I was diagnosed with a hearing loss a month before my fifth birthday by an Audiologist. I was fitted with hearing aids a few weeks before I started primary school in Cordal, County Kerry. My primary school was small, friendly and offered a supportive and safe environment to learn and was an enjoyable experience. Story of the Month: Clodagh: My story so far!.

Growing up

I would consider myself as having been a shy child at school and was always happier to be part of a team. I was lucky to have been surrounded my some lovely friends which I still have today.

I didn’t feel that my hearing loss held me back from participating in things. I always enjoyed sports like running and keeping fit, which I still do today. I play basketball at school.

I had a supportive team of teachers in my primary school and was also supported by the Visiting Teacher for the Deaf. My parents of course are my best support and are always helping me and encouraging me to do the best I possibly can.

Hearing aids

I asked my Mum did I struggle with wearing my hearing aids in the beginning when I first got them fitted.  Mum says “no” I was great, that I always wore my hearing aids and accepted that I needed to have them on every day. Story of the Month: Clodagh: My story so far!.

Growing up with hearing aids didn’t really bother me. Sometimes the hearing aid moulds would make my ears a little sore if I was doing lots of activity in the warmer weather. Sometimes the hearing aids would bother me if I was wearing the horse riding helmet for a long time but it was generally ok.

Children would ask and look at my hearing aids and point or ask a question about them. I would just say “I have hearing aids to help my hearing”. I didn’t really mind if children or adults asked about my hearing.

Doing stuff

My Mum took me to DeafHear events when I was younger, I remember going to art and craft days, and cookery days. I remember attending DeafHear day events with my sister Tara. We would meet other children with hearing aids and Cochlear Implants. It was always good fun. I remember I enjoyed making the home made pizzas!

My Mum took me and my sister Tara to swimming lessons every Saturday morning. I just took out my hearing aids for the swimming lessons and my Mum would always remind the swimming instructor about my deafness. I got on fine and am a good swimmer.

Just before my thirteenth birthday I was seen and assessed in Beaumont Hospital and considered suitable for a Cochlear Implant on my right side, which I had in April 2015. This was very successful and I have felt it was a benefit to my hearing. I can now hear sounds that I was totally unaware before. It was like opening up a new chapter again. When I got the Cochlear Implant I got the additional device for swimming, and now I use that in the pool. It’s great to be able to hear in the water. Clodagh (Centre) with her mum Eileen (Left) and friend Shauna (Right).

Clodagh (Centre) with her mum Eileen (Left) and friend Shauna (Right)

School project

As part of my Home Economics Project for Junior Certificate I had to do a project on an aspect of child development. I chose to complete my project on the impact of hearing loss on child development. The reason I chose this topic was one of personal interest in the subject. I was interested in finding out more about exactly what was the impact that hearing loss would have on a young child’s development.

My parents would mention that I had missed out on a lot of early sounds and speech. My parents were always explaining what different words and their context meant down through the years and still do at times. They have always said that I missed out a lot of early language development because I was a late diagnosis at nearly five years of age.

Completing my project on the impact of hearing loss on child development allowed me to gain a better knowledge on the different types and causes of hearing loss. I now have a better understanding on childhood development after completing this project. I was able to arrange a number of interviews and meetings.

I got an opportunity to interview a mother who has a young child with a hearing loss as part of my project. I also interviewed staff in the local DeafHear centre to gain an insight in to the variety of fantastic supports, courses and events that are available for parents and children. The Visiting Teacher for the Deaf was also a fantastic resource for information on the subject.  

Looking ahead…

At the moment I am in Second Year in Presentation Secondary School Castleisland, Co. Kerry. My hopes for the future are to do well at school and to take my Leaving Cert in 2020. Thinking further ahead, I would like to go to college, as I want to be a primary school teacher when I am older. Line Break Image

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more...Hearing loss costs an estimated €2.2bn every year in Ireland.


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