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Broken Ears, Wounded Hearts Book Report

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Title: Broken Ears, Wounded hearts. Author: George A. Harris

“Pitiful Pear” that is what the nurses nicknamed Jennifer Harris shortly after being born.

Jennifer was born three months prematurely due to her mothers’ complicated pregnancy, directed by pre-eclampsia and a kidney infection a month before giving birth. Jennifer was hospitalized for three months, with congenital heart disease and was in need of heart surgery. She was discharged from the hospital three months later, when her parents soon discovered that she was deaf, had orthopedic problems and, by the age of three, was extremely hyperactive, restless and destructive. She was also being treated as a post-rubella hearing-impaired child. A Diagnostic Center report stated that Jennifer, at age five, was non-verbal and did not respond to verbalization. Jennifer had help from her parents and attended many treatment programs, to assist her development. By the age of seven years and eight months, after many evaluations by an audiologist and psychologist, Jennifer had certainly made wonderful improvements; she was being referred to a normal classroom for deaf children so that her current level of development could increase.

Jennifer’s parents experienced further unanticipated problems in terms of her nurturing. They discovered that their child had to be cared for and be dependent on them for the rest of her life. Jennifer Harris was born with a birth weight of 3lbs. 2oz a “Preemie”. Deafness was suspected early in her life, for which she was evaluated four times until the age of three. There were some disagreements as to whether her hearing problem was of cerebral origin or of peripheral origin. Jennifer was unable to walk until the age of two and there was no speech development at the age of five. In addition, Jennifer had cardiac and orthopedic problems.

As Jennifer grew, both of her parents managed her in very different ways. Her father pursued a degree in psychology to learn more about what his daughter was experiencing. Her mother always new Jennifer was not retarded, even though certain doctors claimed she was. Both mother and father believed that Jennifer could accomplish more of what doctors expected of her. Jennifer at the age of six attended a behavior modification program, primarily for autistic children. Jennifer was not autistic, but she certainly had some autistic like behaviors

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