January 8, 2017



Hi Brandon. There’s this boy I like, but I’m afraid that if I wear my BAHA hearing aid, he won’t like me back. My teachers want me to wear the hearing aid so that I can hear better during class. What should I do?

Hear Me Out

Hi Hear Me Out,

Well first, you should really read EL DEAFO by Cece Bell, which is a graphic novel about a girl (well, actually she’s a bunny, but she wears clothes and goes to school like a real girl) who feels self-conscious about wearing her hearing aid at school. It’s awesome. So, check that out.

Second, I wasn’t sure what a BAHA hearing aid was, so I looked it up. For anyone else reading, you can google it, but basically BAHA stands for Bone Anchored Hearing Aid, and it’s this little box that sort of looks like a tiny cell phone, which attaches to the head just a little behind the ear. And makes it so hearing-impaired people can hear. Neat!

So, my thought when I saw it was that any guy would probably think it was AWESOME. Like, it sort of looks like you’re bionic. Like you’ve got super cool tech implanted in your body. Which…you kinda do?

I get that it makes you different. And at our age, we all struggle with anything that makes us different. We don’t want to stand out. But look…if you don’t wear your hearing aid, you’re going to be constantly asking the teacher, your friends, and even your crush to repeat themselves. That will make you stand out, too!

But more importantly, if your crush wouldn’t like you because of your hearing aid…he’s not a very worthy crush. I mean, he needs to like you for who you are, not for someone you’re pretending to be. And you are hearing impaired, right? So that comes with a hearing aid. Period. People who want to be in your life just have to deal with it.

And, what’s there to deal with? It doesn’t affect them, aside from making it so they don’t have to constantly repeat themselves to you. That seems like a bonus. Otherwise, it’s not any different than someone wearing glasses, or a wrist brace, or even an extra sweater because they get cold a lot.

So I think you should wear your hearing aid with confidence, because you should be up front about who you are. And if your crush can’t deal with who you are, then you don’t need to waste another minute of energy caring what he thinks. And if he CAN deal, then you’ll be able to hear him!

Plus you’ll be able to hear your teachers and, like, learn stuff. Which is cool! :)

How do you guys handle the little things that make you different from everyone else? Do you embrace them, or try to hide them? Would a hearing aid change how you felt about someone?