Update 2017: Both *Theo (Vignesh) and *Louise (Aleeya Sahithi) have been adopted, and are now home in America with their adopted families!
*Louise has received a cochlear implant (CI) to help her learn to hear and speak. *Louise is profoundly D/deaf, but very young, so she was a strong candidate for CIs. Despite the controversy around CIs in developed nations, in India, having a D/deaf child is thought to be the result of bad karma, or punishment, from a previous life in the Hindu religion, as is any type of disability, hence the high abandonment rate in the country and the reason why SCH exists today. In her developing country, having CIs will help *Louise (and big brothers *Theo and *Nolan, too!) function within her world.
Along with speech therapy, *Louise and her brothers also learn sign language to help them communicate, as their foster mothers realise it is an important part of their D/deaf identity. Sign language is also used with other children in *Louise’s foster home to help ease communication, as well as throughout the rest of SCH, as regardless of hearing status it is difficult for some of the SCH kids to communicate verbally. Like *Molly, who is limited by her cerebral palsy (*Molly uses adaptive communication using an eye-gaze computer for which a volunteer fundraised, since her CP affects her arms, hands, entire body, and movements), and *Lily, who has differences with speech, CP, and hemiplegia.
These are just a few examples of children with functional hearing who also use sign language. So as you can see, they will have two forms of communication instead of one! *Louise, *Theo, and *Nolan will always be deaf, they just have the option of using their CIs to augment their communication and help them to ‘fit in’ to the world in which they live.
Update: *Zinnia has been adopted! She is home with her forever family.
*Zinnia has hand and foot differences, but these do not stop her from being an amazing kid! She writes and eats independently and attends mainstream private school, where she thrives. She loves to help out – taking care of her siblings, even the ones who are technically older than her. Not to mention, she’s adorable, too!
*Dinah is doing awesome, and her skills are beginning to explode lately! She has said her first word and begun playing with toys, as well as other children, which is a big step for her. *Dinah has mild diplegic CP, which affects her legs, but after long intervention, practice, and therapy, she can walk! *Dinah also has nystagmus, which means her eyes involuntarily move/’vibrate’ and may not focus all the time. She does eye exercises daily ( suggested by an eye doctor) to help strengthen her vision. She is an active, playful, curious girl with beautiful, long, lustrous hair all the ayahs love to style!
As always, thanks for being patient and listening to me ramble. This cause is near and dear to me, and I happen to be one of those people who can’t necessarily afford monthly sponsorship at this time. If you also have a heart to help these children but cannot donate monetarily, there are are other ways to help out at SCH.
Spread the knowledge of SCH through word-of-mouth with friends, co-workers, your church group, or other recreational group – sponsorship, especially full sponsorship, takes a village!
You can sponsor any child who needs additional funding at SCH by using the resources found here. Use these resources to get involved in other ways, such as becoming an advocate or volunteering. You can also become a medical sponsor (ideal for large groups or organizations who wish to support SCH) and donate toward monthly emergency medical expenses; or an educational sponsor and donate toward a specific on-site school. Learn about other ways to give charitably to SCH here, and check back often for additional opportunities.
*A note about names: SCH uses online nicknames for the children in order to protect their identity, per Indian governmental guidelines which state that children in care may not have identifying photos of them on the internet, as well as no identifying information such as birth name, place of origin, etc.