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I said to myself – “Your child doesn’t deserve to be a subject of compassion.”

 

“My name is Aram, my surname is Petrosyan. Perhaps, when I grow up I will be called Aram Artyomovich.” – this was how 10-year old Aram introduced himself. Aram studies at Mkhitar Sebastatsi educational complex. He intends to become a journalist or a designer. Aram is a role model for many students because of his variety of interests: he attends photography classes, manages a personal blog, has a Youtube channel and likes to read.

Karine Harutyunyan, Aram’s mother, says that they were shocked to learn about Aram’s hearing impairment. It felt like a snowfall in midsummer.

-“The first reaction was shock, naturally, it’s shocking. The first question that comes into your head is ‘Why me? Why my child? My child is innocent.’ All parents who are hit with this kind of problem experience the same path. A very important phase follows the shock, and that is when parents must think clearly about the situation and make the right decision for their child. The child’s future, their entire future life, the quality of their whole life depends on that decision. That is to say the parent chooses the path of battle or retreat.”says Karine.

“It is very important to be really strong. Everyone passes through desperation, blaming themselves and God for what happened. I was greatly supported by my family – my husband, my mother-in-law and my mother. My mother is a teacher and her every sentence was a treasure to me in those days. So that I would not pass my self-consciousness and insecurities on to my child, my mother said to me one day, ‘You are in charge of your own life, so don’t tell everyone about them because not everyone will understand you. Secondly, even if people understand you, they won’t be able to help you. And finally, everyone has their own problems.’ My mother said to me that I have to overcome my own barriers. I understood much later what a correct approach that was. Talking with parents of children with the same disability, I saw how much time and energy they were spending and how psychologically worn out they were getting by telling the same stories over and over again to different people, trying to gain their sympathy. Then I said to myself: ‘Karine, your child doesn’t deserve to be a subject of pity, and you should devote all your energy and thoughts to him only.’

“Once I was working with Aram in public transport. I remember I was trying to teach him the word for “old man”. We have no grandfather in our family, and there was an old man sitting in the van. I started to talk with Aram about the man’s grey hair. When explaining something to a child with a hearing impairment, you sometimes have to repeat the same thing several times, which is what I was doing. A lady sitting next to us turned to me and said, ‘What a pity’. I really wish that one day Aram could meet that lady or others who think the same way so that they understand their mistaken approach.”

 

Full text in Armenian

 

 

 

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