I have a student who has a hearing aid. He was recently diagnosed with a hearing loss and sported a new hearing aid a few weeks ago. Since he also has Down's Syndrome, he relies on the adults in his life to help him be responsible for it.
I was called away from my classroom last week for a family emergency, and a temporary substitute was moved into my classroom until I could return. It's unfortunate that recess and lunch fell within that time. The substitute wasn't aware that I check this student's hearing aid and mold to make sure it's securely in his ear before recess.
He lost it. Sometime between the time he walked from his special education class, into my room, played on the playground, ate lunch, took a bathroom break, went back to his special ed class, returned to my room where I helped him get his backpack, and walked him to his waiting mom -- he lost his hearing aid.
It wasn't to be found in the classroom or in his special ed room. We didn't find it in the bathroom or the lost and found. No one had turned it in to the office. We could've searched the playground and pea-gravely surface under the big toys, but we knew it would've been futile. Mowers had been dispatched from our maintenance department to mow and eat the weeds on our playground the very day the hearing aid managed its escape.
The hearing aid was insured. Good move for a parent with a young child. It'll be replaced soon. And I'll try to make a concerted effort to mention the hearing aid security check the next time a sub covers my class.
I've dreamed of hearing aids the last few nights. Little blue hearing aids with red and blue ear molds and Spiderman stickers on the side. Little hearing aids lost under big toys on children's playgrounds. Or swings and slides. Lying in the grass waiting to be found. Whistling feedback at passersby. "Look at me! Here I am!" Quivering on the ground, but overlooked. Unnoticed, except by the whirring, swirling metal blades that gobbled it up and spit it out -- unrecognizable.
I awake in a sweat and realize it's only a dream. No. It's a nightmare.
It's not real. But I still take a reassuring peep inside my Dry and Store. Resting safely inside -- my little hearing aid and my N6 processor. Whew.