How to be a Velvet Bulldozer, is a term that has stuck ever since it was mentioned to me a few years ago by a friend of mine.
I was at the start of a very long period of time trying to get our local audiology department to take me seriously. My son clearly had hearing issues, he failed his new born hearing screening three times whilst we spent time in SCBU. They tried to get a reading for twenty minutes and now that I’ve had two more children, I realise the positive result of the test is measured in seconds. Had I known this then, I would have been on the case sooner. Even with these results and multiple other incomplete tests at around nine to ten months old, local audiology wouldn’t and in some ways couldn’t help us to help him. I really believe they were not experienced enough in working with children with special needs. I can recall very clearly, asking the lead audiologist why on earth they thought I would want him to have hearing aids if he didn’t need them? The whole thing was firing up my anger, sadness and irritation.
Anyway, as time went on, with more and more hearing tests, more appointments locally and in Birmingham all to no avail, with the direction of my very knowledgeable friend, we eventually took him to see a fabulous private audiologist who confirmed our suspicions and very wonderfully gave him some hearing aids on loan. It was a massive relief, not of course that his hearing was impaired but that someone was taking us seriously and agreed with our gut feeling and observations at home. This, alongside some specific speech and language therapy and developmental therapy helped him to switch his hearing on and it stopped the vacant moments he had been having since birth. We were also then on our way to the amazing Great Ormond Street Hospital where the lead audiologist also confirmed our fears but helped us to champion his needs.
All of this plus many many hours of therapy at home set us on the path to recovering his hearing to within normal limits. He no longer wears hearing aids and his speech (this is another subject entirely) is coming along great.
As we fought this particular battle, amongst others, I tried to keep in mind being that ‘Velvet Bulldozer’. Getting what we needed but in the best way possible. Keeping the professionals on our side, getting as much information and understanding as possible and preparing well for each and every meeting.
When you really need something for your child or for yourself remember that term and see yourself knocking down all the walls to get to your prize in the smoothest way possible.
It wasn’t until very recently that I actually read the book from which this term is taken and I wish I had done so much earlier. It’s a great read, you can dip in and out of it and the reviews are extremely positive.