Avans student Marloes Wiegmans was told two years ago that she was “too hard of hearing”. Not good news, but she is not constrained by her hearing loss and is doing an internship in Dublin. “It’s tough, but it’s all worth it.”
Living and doing an internship in the Irish capital is a dream come true for social work student Marloes. “The fact that it rains so much here is a little less,” she says. But that’s also the only downside that a born and bred Brabantian can think of.
Happened 1.5 years ago Point She has already agreed with Marloes, who has just been told that her hearing has deteriorated and that her hearing is officially too difficult. In her words, she was still in the acceptance stage at the time. She learned sign language and an interpreter helps her attend lectures. She has now left for Ireland on her own to do an internship at an organization that provides tutoring and care for young children from families with complex problems.
barrier without limits
She works during the day with children, who often have a disorder or behavioral problems. She helps with school work, teaches them social skills, teaches primary school lessons and, in cooperation with other trainees, develops training for young sex education workers. She does not consider her hearing impairment as a limitation. Marlos: “I always call it a ‘hindrance.’ I do whatever I want, but it holds me back.” During the lectures in Holland, Marloes has an interpreter, but this is very complicated now, because the interpreter must translate English afterwards and because the student must be able to respond quickly to the children. “I have to make an effort to hear things properly. I was exhausted after an internship, but it was worth it. Studying here is a dream come true.”
Dare to go abroad
She would recommend travel abroad for anyone with a disability. “Dare to do it! Learn about your options and how you can make them as easy on yourself as possible. For example, I immediately explained the situation to colleagues. Of course I occasionally struggles Then they understand what I’m facing. I’ve only received positive feedback on my story.”
Marlos also immediately told the children in her group about her hearing. I taught them that everyone is different and unique. “I was immediately able to provide good information about DifferencesThis was fun. And they respond very nicely. They ask “Did you hear me?” Her hearing aids can also count on a great deal of interest from children. “I’ve got to get them out and show them,” Marloz laughs.
The handicap is also his strength at certain times. For example, with a child with autism that you personally supervise. When he first arrived at training, he was sitting alone in a corner, occasionally bursting into rage. Nobody can do anything with him. Marlus sat next to the boy and told him she got it too when she was his age. “I could get out of control because I didn’t feel understood. I just felt like this little kid had that too. Slowly he became more open and at some point he went to play with the other kids himself. He became a lot more social in eight weeks.”
In addition to her internship, she loves to explore Dublin with other interns. “Dublin is a beautiful city with bars and live music. I taught others some basic gestures. This is especially useful in a club,” she laughs. They go out on weekends. “While walking along the coast, you come across beautiful cliffs. For example, we’ll see the Cliffs of Moher, which seems to be a highlight of wild nature.” And that Irish accent? “Yes, that’s hard to fathom, but it gets better. And I notice that I always put English words into my Dutch conversations, so that’s okay! “
kids with backpack
Despite the fun, Marloes also faces difficult situations. The kids you work with have a big backpack and they’ve been through a lot in their short lives. “Intensive,” says the student. “I feel it is more difficult in Ireland to get good guidance for children. It is easier to arrange professional help in the Netherlands, whereas here it is mostly dependent on volunteer agencies.” “Sometimes kids are hard to control, but my colleague said, ‘Remember today you’re probably the only one who’s kind to kids, praise them. “It really touches me, but it is so good to give them a moment of happiness every day. These little guys touch your heart. Working with the kids is great.”