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May 2, 2013

Hearing aids can't tune out laughter

:Dear Abby: Last year, I began to lose my hearing due to a genetic disorder and now I have to wear hearing aids. I will be a freshman in high school next year. My teachers all have to wear microphones so I can hear them.

I’m scared other kids will make fun of me for being different. I have already gotten laughed at. What should I do?

:Embarrassed Teen

Dear Embarrassed Teen: When people laugh at a person who has a disability, it is usually out of ignorance. Because this happened at school or another place where there is adult supervision, you and your parents should talk to the principal or person in authority so that person can speak privately with the guilty parties and explain why your hearing aids and the microphone are necessary. Your parents should also have a meeting with the principal of your high school before you go so the problem can be avoided.

When I was in grammar school, a classmate of mine had severe hearing loss. Because the students understood what her problem was, she was never ridiculed.

P.S. Making fun of a child who has a disability is a form of bullying, and should be treated as such.

:Dear Abby: I’m 25 and have been with my husband for nine years, married for four. I cheated on him twice. He caught me both times.

Even though I strayed, he decided to stay. But now he treats me like I’m a child and a prisoner. He took away my phone, my Internet and I can’t go anywhere. He says this is my punishment for what I did. Do I really deserve that? I know we’re both wrong, but is he more wrong?

:Broken Wife

Dear Broken Wife: From where I sit, you are equally wrong. How long ago did the cheating incidents occur? If they are recent, you two should be in marriage counseling. If they were long ago, then you must decide if you want to live the rest of your life being treated as a child and a prisoner.

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