Cotton in My Ears, excerpt from

Warfield, Frances

Primary Category: Literature / Nonfiction

Genre: Autobiography

Annotated by:
Squier, Harriet
  • Date of entry: Nov-17-1998


The author describes her experience of growing up with hearing loss. In this excerpt, she describes herself as a six year old orphan who is being raised by two aunts. Young Frances tries to hide her hearing loss from her aunts because she is afraid they will recognize that she is inferior or useless and get rid of her. She invents an invisible friend who chooses to hear what he wants to and who doesn't feel ashamed of this disability.


This is a delightful and well-written piece that carefully depicts how children see the world and how one girl's world is transformed by her hearing loss. It is an effective means to encourage students to see through their patient's eyes.

Primary Source

Ordinary Lives: Voices of Disability and Disease



Place Published

Cambridge, Mass.




Irving Kenneth Zola

Page Count