My name is Izzad. I am 18 years old. I’m the only one who is deaf in my family, and I was deaf from birth. Initially, I found it very difficult to communicate. When I was around 5 or 6 years old, my mom then taught me how to lip-read. Later on, my mom also took me to the clinic to learn more about improving my speech. Other than that, I communicate using sign language.

I used to be bullied. A common misunderstanding I face are people thinking that I’m lying about being deaf, they don’t believe me sometimes. To combat that, I will usually try to ask our teachers to help clarify the situation.

When I was being bullied, there would be someone forcing me to give them money. They didn’t use physical force, but I was pressured into giving in. This was in the past, thankfully it does not happen now. I felt that I wasn’t as independent back then. I initially used to get very mad when I was bullied – I would feel angry and argue verbally, but I never physically fought back. Since then, I try to be patient because I believe God will punish on our behalf those who have wronged us.

A common misunderstanding I face are people thinking that I’m lying about being deaf, they don’t believe me sometimes. To combat that, I will usually try to ask our teachers to help clarify the situation.

I’m also grateful that I now have good friends in this school. We usually play football together, hang out, and share stories. We would always go around in a group. Whenever we have problems, we would share and help each other out.

I do not have an exact ambition yet as I have not thought of it. My hobbies are practicing karate, and studying the Al-Quran. But in the next year, I am looking forward to start college. I am currently interested in studying culinary. I help my mom to cook at home. I am able to cook ayam goreng, mee goreng, laksa Johor, and vegetable dishes. My family, we are all super supportive of one another. I have a good relationship with them. They are also very supportive of my dreams and what I do.

If I could advise those who are being bullied, I would say don’t argue back – it’s not good. I would also ask them to consider if they want to report that behavior to our teachers or not. If I could address the bullies, I hope they can understand what they are doing and to not do it again. I hope they will change their attitudes.

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