The title of this blog contains words that have overshadowed my family’s life over the years since we discovered that our daughter Amelia is deaf and the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder became yet another part of her story.
Moderate-severe/profound is the technical description of Amelia’s deafness. ‘Quirky’ is our soft definition of her ‘spectrumy’ behaviours; some of them make us laugh uproariously and others make us deeply afraid for her future.
These terms have been useful labels, ways to explain who Amelia is and the challenges she faces. They have given us an increased understanding of our child and they have also delivered great pain.
But if I look at them lined up together, I find it is possible to view them from a different, more hopeful perspective.
They are, after all, just words and they don’t have to define Amelia, us or the life we’re living together, which is as profound as she is decidedly quirky.
Posts on this blog have been republished online by mamamia, ABC Ramp Up (edited by the great Stella Young), Catherine Deveny (Gunnas Writing Masterclass) and The Limping Chicken (UK deaf news and deaf blogs). Other pieces have been featured in newsletters produced by parent support groups such as Aussie Deaf Kids, Parents of Deaf Children and the Early Intervention Service, the Aurora School.
Please feel welcome to share your stories of hope, loss and love with me on the pages of this blog. I’d love to hear from you. Otherwise you can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A good place to start reading is here. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit.
Dr Melinda Hildebrandt
One-time film researcher and writer, long-time cinephile, PhD graduate, and proud mother of one feisty little unit.