‘Seeing’ Life Differently

Hanyu is a social butterfly.

She is only 18 months old, but she already loves to communicate with people around her by making sounds. She is also a little explorer in the toy room.

But when I first met Hanyu, she was 1 month old and was shut down.

When I held her for the first time, she would not make eye contact with me and was unresponsive. She opened her eyes briefly, frowned and closed them again.

I learned that day that Hanyu’s vision is impaired. So I decided to use my voice as my main method of communication with her.

“Hanyu, I am your nanny and you are my baby. I am here,” I told her.

Each day, when I went to her crib, I kissed her on the cheek and said:

“Hanyu, these are the sounds of my steps…try to remember them. I will come and pick you up each day. I am here for you.”

Slowly, Hanyu became more responsive. She would blink, though I knew she could not see me. And sometimes, she would smile, kick her feet or even make cooing sounds.

As time went on, I could tell that Hanyu’s hearing was getting sharper and sharper. In the toy room, she was very aware of the sounds around her. She smiled when she heard a little toy harp that she especially liked.

Hanyu also started to recognize what direction sounds were coming from. Now, when she hears my voice, she comes straight to me, touches my face with her hands, and kisses my cheek!

I am now helping Hanyu discover the world around her with her hands and ears. I often describe what I see to her in very vivid detail. And I take her outside, to feel leaves, grass, and the wind on her face. We are learning to fully appreciate our other four senses. Together, we are ‘seeing’ life differently.