Finding My Voice By David Cluff

Everyone experiences a time in finding their voice. Either as a child or an adult, it is a joyous occasion when you feel like you can express yourself. Finding my voice was a little more challenging than most. When my parents found out I was losing my hearing, at age three, they started working harder on my speech before I lost all my hearing. Every day I was working on making sounds and saying words. At a young age, I lost all my hearing and my speech began to decline. I would try to speak aloud but I could not hear myself or know how loud I was talking. I would often put my hands on my neck feeling the vibrations of my voice and then wonder how I sounded. I missed my voice and my ability to communicate with those around me. I then quickly learned Sign Language where I was able to communicate using my hands. When I got my first Cochlear Implant, I was on my way back to finding my voice again. Each moment held a joy for making sounds and hearing them. With the help of God and my parents---I found my voice. The journey was a challenge but it was a remarkable experience for me as I look back. As a young boy I was very shy and would not talk very much. As I grew older, I started stepping out of my comfort zone and using my voice. Now, I am speaking to support groups, councils, medical professionals and people around me--something I never thought I would be doing. Finding my voice is an ongoing journey and I learn something new every day. Each day is truly a miracle.

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