My name is Elle and I was born with left sided microtia and Atresia, I also have hearing loss in my right ear. I wear a BAHA and have another hearing aid for my other ear. I am proud of my little nemo ear and don’t want to have it reconstructed. In addition to my deafness I also have auditory processing disorder, processing disorder and short term memory difficulties.
After passing my GCSE’s I left school to pursue my dream to be a dancer and become a dance teacher. I currently study at Reynolds performing arts college. I have been dancing since I was 2 years old , competing in competitions and festivals, in solo dances, duets, trios and groups. I have won lots of medals for my dancing and some trophies.
As well as going to college I also help to teach children to dance at the weekend – aged 18 months to 10 years old. I have passed many exams in dance but I never want my deafness to be made known to the examiner. The way I think of it is I want to be marked on my ability not my disability. I see my microtia and deafness as a gift, to the point that my teachers say my deafness makes me a better dancer than my hearing friends as I feel the music rather than just focus on the tune and sound.
Last year I won a place on the National Deaf Children’s Society, ‘Raising the Bar’ competition where I had a chance to dance with Deaf Men Dancing. This year I am returning but as an assistant to them to help with those in the Dance group. I have got so much from doing this, not only meeting new people but also sharing my experiences of being deaf.
To all new parents I would say never worry about your child, let them be proud of their little ear and be amazed about what they can do.