Modern day miracles

After nearly five years as a teacher, there aren't very many "firsts" left for me. But recently I found myself in the midst of quite a "first": the mother of one of my students claimed he had been miraculously cured of his deafness.

"Sean" is a fourth grader who is profoundly deaf in both ears. He wears a cochlear implant and does quite well with it (without it, he cannot hear ANY speech sounds). He is quite intelligible, bright, and friendly.

Three weeks ago, he took off his cochlear implant and declared loudly (in slightly less intelligible speech) that he could hear and he didn't need it anymore. Thinking he was just messing around, I pointed for him to put it back on and then explained that the doctor/audiologist said he must wear it to hear. He grinned sheepishly and put it back on.

Later that day, my colleague told me that she had run into his mother at church and she had told her that Sean had been miraculously healed over spring break!

Now. I believe God still does miracles. But I also believe that miracles are not the usual way that He reveals himself. So over the next few days, every time Sean had his cochlear implant off (changing batteries, or what have you), we would loudly shout his name from varying distances.

No response.

Since Sean was obediently wearing his implant at school every day, I forgot all about the issue and went on with life.

Until Friday. Friday, his mother was at school to pick Sean up and we had a conversation in the stairwell. She told me that Sean had something to tell me. He told me that he had misplaced something and then we had the ODDEST conversation with him repeating himself and never directly answering my questions.

Then his mom turned to me after he had walked away and asked me, beaming: "Did you notice anything about Sean? He had that whole conversation with you without his implant on! He's been healed! We've had a miracle!"

I was at such a loss, I think all I managed was "Oh!". Thankfully, I had to give my attention to my other students so I was off the hook.

About twenty minutes later when the final bell had rung, she came into my classroom to expand further on this miracle. Something about a prophecy and three days and some prayer. I was quiet for a minute and she said: "You look amazed!", to which I replied: "This is an amazing situation!"

I put on my warmest smile and asked as tactfully as I could if the audiologist had confirmed his new hearing. Her response? "God doesn't need an audiologist to confirm his miracles!"

True. Since there was nothing appropriate left for me to say I quickly changed the subject, and Mom left as happy as she was when she came in.

I'm not a parent, and I'm obviously not a parent of a child with special needs. But I can understand wanting your child to be healed. I don't know how long Mom is going to hold on to this miracle, but I do know it's not my place to contradict her hope.

15 comments:

Miss Kat's Parents said...

Holy crap!! Do you have an audiologist on campus? Maybe you can pull him into the booth and do an unaided audiogram. This is really not a good situation at all.

Anonymous said...

I applaud your tact. But if he keeps trying to take off his implant, I guess you'll need to be more direct!! In the meantime, you can always pray! Love you, Mom

TeachEnEspanol said...

Wow, what a situation to be in the midst of. You have done a good job to keep yourself out of anything that could dash hopes and faith, but I guess you'll just have to continue with the established rule of wearing his implants at school (especially since she won't have him tested to clarify a change in the current program) and maybe, withi time, his mom will realize things on her own. I really do believe that if she's invested enough to pray for him for three days, she does have his best interests at heart.

Melinda said...

you handled it well. Maybe work with the administrators to see if they can perform a hearing test before allowing the student to NOT wear his implant. At least this way the mom will have solid proof.

Anonymous said...

Let her figure out. I think he learned how to communicate without his implant. like most deaf people can. He sound like he is enjoying the attention. In the meanwhile, you probably have to tell the mother that he'll have to use sign language if he keep taking it off. BTW, I don't know why doctors and audiologist REQUIRE for a student to wear it. It is recommended that they wear it often to benefit from it. It's usually up to the parent... and the teacher if she can't teach him in sign language.

Anonymous said...

it's really sad how it is hard for people to accept our deafness. And keep hoping for a cure or miracle. I'm deaf and people like that always make me feel terrible not hearing.

Mrs. K1 teacher said...

I think you handled it really well. I have had similiar situations with other disabilities and other inexplicable-by-science religious healings. In one of the situations, I treid to explain the "science" of a disability to a parent and that was not a good choice on my part.

I will be curious to see what, if anything happens with this miracle as the rest of the school year progresses.

Yaya' s Changing World said...

Have you considered that maybe there was a miracle? 'Course, I don't really know anything about deafness, aside from a little sign language, but I do believe in miracles... even, today.

~ Yaya
Yaya's Changing World

Melissa said...

Wow, what a sticky situation. It makes me feel sorry for the mother and the son when this situation plays out.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't waste anyone's money and time just to prove the mother wrong by doing a hearing test.

But on the other hand, if the child need a new mapping becuase he isn't hearing like he should, The teacher could recommend that to the mother.

Lanie Ree said...

Oh dear. That poor kid- I wonder if he is playing along for the sake of his mom? Or maybe he is just liking the attention.

If he can't hear you when you stand behind him and yell his name, I'd say that maybe she misunderstood her miracle.

roller coaster teacher said...

Oh WOW! That is ... WOW!

Hen Jen said...

i think it's very kind of you to not stomp on her miracle, i don't know if i could have been so graceful. i guess she will figure out her error in time. smart of you to establish the rule of having to wear his implant in school. just found your blog and i am enjoying my visit- sorry about no caps, using only one hand...

Going Further said...

Out of all the post left, I am shocked to see that no one is saying that MAYBE THE KID IS ACTUALLY HEALED!!!!!!! If we cannot believe in a God that still does miracles that still helps people and still cares for us then why do we believe in him at all. I applaud the parent and the child. I disapprove of you "as a professing Christian" not stating that you are happy for her. God does still heal. Miracles do still happen. It is us that has changed and not God.

Anonymous said...

I think that people under estimate the power of God as his abilities. I agree with the mother. God is a listener and a healer, and you shouldn't doubt his abilities. If I was the mother I would be praying for the teacher and praising God for his gift. Ever hear of the song Amazing Grace?

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