Top 10 things I need you to know

#1 Talk to me like you do everyone else, I understand everything you are saying even if it doesn’t always look like I do. Just talk to me like I am 13, or older, but not younger.

#2 Don’t talk about me in front of me. I can hear you, I can read your lips, I can read your body language. It is terrible. Sad.

#3 Talk directly to me, not my support person , or my mom, Russ, or my sisters.

#4 Focus on my strengths. I have many. We all do.

#5. Presume my competence. This is the most important thing.

#6  Never refer to my iPad as a toy. It is not it is my voice. Imagine if you could not speak with your mouth, how important your iPad voice would be. I know it takes awhile to get used to someone talking with their iPad. But you get used to it, and I depend on it. I must have my iPad. I need it as much as I need my hearing aid.

#7 If I don’t/can’t or want to say hi or bye,  don’t make me have this as a goal year after year after year.

#8 Don’t say “those” kids, or “my babies” . It’s really uncool.

#9 Be patient. It does not help if you ask me 10 times. I do need things repeated because of my hearing impairment, it is even better if you write it down. Most of the time, I am trying to do what you are asking, but my body works differently. I am patient with you.

# 10 Respect when I need to take a break.  I am just doing what I need to do to be able to learn in the classroom.

#11  If you feel uncomfortable if I do not respond to a hello do not worry. I am ok and I like that you said hello. Don’t try do something funny so I laugh if I don’t say hi.  Don’t say that thing that I laughed at one time two years ago because it makes you feel good to get me to laugh. I don’t like it. If you wouldn’t do the same to another kid, please don’t do it to me. It feels awkward.  I am a nice person and end up laughing and then it does not stop. The laughing and word that go with the movie of you are in my head. Then I see you again and you replace hello with water bottle. Now you think if you say “water bottle” that I think it means hello or your name. I don’t.

#12  Rewards not necessary. A real, “great job”, or a real “A”, like any other student. Please never ever give me a reward like watching youtube in class for listening in class.

#13 Do not treat me like a baby. I hate it. I do like when people help me, but I am working on it.

#14 I need the vocabulary and lesson plans in advance. I need to program everything into my iPad so I can join the class. I also need to learn the vocabulary first because I am hard of hearing.

#15 Listen to all communication. Not just typed.

#16 Remember, I am a person, just like you.

#17 You will be fine. Better even.

#18 Everyone needs a mentor. I have many.