A mum has helped her deaf son beat the bullies by putting colourful cartoon covers – on his HEARING AIDS.
Little Santiago Lozada was diagnosed with deafness earlier this year after having trouble concentrating at school and ordered to wear two hearing aids.
Nathalie Lozada, 32, was horrified when she realised her five-year-old son was being teased at school because of his new hearing aids, which he hated wearing, so she decided to stick his favourite cartoon characters on the sides.
Nathalie, a deputy nursery nurse, said: “He was given hearing aids but associates them with his school uniform so doesn’t like to wear them.”
She began talking with an American woman online who decorates hearing aids with the plastic accessories designed for Crocs sandals.
Nathalie said: “I asked her if she wouldn’t mind sending me a few of them to see how they are made.
“She told me they weren’t actually designed for hearing aids and that you had to put them together yourself.”
The process of pulling apart the plastic gems and glueing them onto a hearing aid wasn’t easy, but it was worth it, because Santiago loves wearing his ‘special ears.’
Nathalie has now decided to start manufacturing and selling the special ears online.
She said: “I’m lucky that my husband works as a mechanic so had tools and glue that we could try out.
“It was trial and error to find a formula that worked, but we got there.”
Now, her entire family pitches in to pick apart the figurines and put them back together with an extra superpower – hearing.
At the moment, Santiago loves wearing his Minions models and superheroes.
Mum-of-two Nathalie added: “Parents have come up to me now saying their kids have said they really like them and are wondering which ones he’s going to wear tomorrow.
“We didn’t want Santiago to be marginalized. Now, he’s the main character and so proud of his special ears.”
She has hopes of selling them, and has her seven-year-old daughter Aisha modelling the more girly versions.
Nathalie lives in Brixton, south east London, but comes from Colombia, where her family are intrigued about their relative’s special ears.
She said that the visit every two years and on her next trip she plans on taking a box-full over for children with hearing problems there.
Until then, she said she’ll carry on making them on her dining room table, after Aisha and Santiago have gone to bed.
She added: “This is something positive from what could have been negative.
“Santiago heard the wind for the first time this year, he said told me he could ‘hear something but not see it.”
Even if she doesn’t sell many, Nathalie said she was happy that she’d made her son feel confident and stressed that she “just wants to make children feel better.”