The Silent Child (2017) - full transcript

A deaf 6-year-old girl named Libby lives in a world of silence until a caring social worker teaches her to use sign language to communicate.

- What time is cello tonight?
- Six.

You'll have to run him, Paul.
Pip has ballet at 5:30.

- Yeah, okay, chill, that's fine.
- It's weird when old people say this.

- Charming.
- What time is the 'help' arriving?

Joanne is arriving at...

Yeah, it's time to go grab your bags,

She's early. Paul, can you go
to the door and take Libby with you?

- I'm leaving, I'm late.
- I was just about to knock. Joanne.

Yes, Suzanne,
she'll be down in a minute.

Thanks for helping us out,
we have quite low expectations.

We wanted her to be a little bit
more confident in time for school.

- Right.
- Anyway.

She has a hearing aid,
but won't wear it.

I'm assuming there's no history
of deafness in your family?

No, we only found out she was deaf
when she was 3 and a half.

Which makes me
an awful mother but...

She had some hearing in her
left ear, that was overcompensating.

You're not an awful mother.
It's common.

And she didn't
qualify for a cochlear implant?

No, which was a real blow.

Does she know any sign language
or Is it just lip reading?

- Just lip reading.
- And her speech?

Not good.

I'll start with a combination
of speech and sign language.

A lot of children respond well
to sign, it's less frustrating.

Libby follows what we're saying
really well.

Right, well I'm
sure she'll be fine then.

Stop, you idiot.
I'm on the phone.

Make yourself
at home, sit down if you like.

Libby, there's
someone here to see you.

can I have the remote please?

Libby, can I have the remote?

She's usually happy
when she's watching TV.

She can be very difficult, we don't
even know what's wrong with her.

Is there any pattern?

No. You know what they're like
at this age.

- My other two were the same.
- My exam starts in 25 minutes.

Seb's got his G.C.S.E's
and he got A's in his mocks.

You've got my mobile number,
I'll be back in a few hours.

You'll be brilliant. Bye, Libby.

Can I play?

Let me show you
something, you'll like it.

- Your mum's here.
- How's it been?

- Good.
- I told you she was quiet.

Does she ever interact?

Yeah, she follows
what we're saying really well.

Trust me, when Libby's
unhappy you'll know about it.

I'll try with more interactive stuff.

- I've got books that'd be useful...
- Hello? Sorry.

I've literally just walked in,
can I call you back in 5 minutes?

Sorry, that was
Paul's mum. She's a bloody nuisance.

I'll bring some stuff to try her with
tomorrow. Does she like the park?

I haven't taken her since she was
tiny but I'm sure she'd love it.

- It's only 5 minutes away.
- Yeah I saw it, great.

- Thanks Joanne.
- Okay, bye.

- Are you moving in?
- They're for Libby.

She's inside with Sue,
she's in a good mood.

Libby, I mean.
Sue's never in a good mood.

- Hey!
- Oh hey.

Hey, Libby, oh,
sorry the door was open...

Looks like you're going to have
a busy day.

I've got to shoot off, to take Paul's
mum to the hospital.

- No worries.
- Bye, Libs, be good.

- See you later.
- Bye.

- What's that?
- Milk.

Orange juice.

So, what's that?

Want to go to the
park and feed the ducks?

You know ducks?


Let's pack a bag,
where is your bag?


You want orange juice?

Let's get you
some orange juice then.

- Finished, I'm full.
- You're full?

- You won't want any sweets then?
- What sweets?

- That's my favorite.
- Your favorite?

Mine too.

I just wondered how she'll get on
with the sign language at school.

- How'd you mean?
- I'm not sure many people know it.

She'd need to have an interpreter
with her and support.

I'm not trying to talk myself into
a job, but I'd be happy to help.

Right, okay.

I'm wondering if we should focus
on the lipreading,

rather than the sign language.

As it stands, Libby's
going to struggle with speech.

Sign language and lipreading
will have the best results.

It can feel a bit alien
but the basics are easy to learn.

Might be a nice thing
to do as a family.

I'm not sure how doable that is now.

Pip has ballet and Seb rehearses
three times a week.

We'll chat about it tomorrow,
I'll talk to Paul.

Okay, great.


Thanks, Sue.

I want her to speak, Paul.

- Seb, can you pass me the jam?
- Don't forget that letter will you.

- Did you find your leather jacket?
- In the office.

- Orange.
- She's signing.

She's probably hungry.
Can you pass me that butter, Seb?

I think it means orange juice,
Jo taught me some stuff.

- Thank you.
- That's cool.

Yeah, Jo's doing a good job.

However many hairstyles you try,
she's not going to go out with you.

- Talk of the devil.
- Someone give him hair wax.

- Shut up.
- Morning.

- Morning, Jo.
- Hello, hello.

Jo, what do you think of Seb's hair?

Yeah, it's cool.

- Right. It's time to go.
- Seb.

- Treasure.
- What's she saying, television?

She wants to look for treasure.
I'll sort it out. You want treasure?

Thank you.

Right, so I'm on the bloody hospital
run again with Paul's mum today.

I mentioned last night, I'm
gonna be a bit late again tonight.

- That's fine. We'll have lots of fun.
- Fun, you, me.

Bye, Libby.

What are you drawing?

You, me, holiday.

Holiday? Wow, I could do
with a holiday.

Is that me?

Back again, sorry, can never leave.
Forgot my bloody purse.

- Hi, I'm Joanne, I look after Libby.
- Hello, is she being good for you?

She's great, she's so bright.

Is she? Do you think she'll be able
to get a job one day?

I think she'll be able to
have a career in whatever she likes.

Oh, God bless her.

Her grandad was deaf you know,
from birth.

He had a job as a cleaner.
I knew him.

Really, Libby's grandad?

Do you mean Paul's dad
or Sue's dad?

Neither, darling.
She's not Paul's, you know.

I told him he should have left.
But he never listens to his mother.

- Well, it was nice to meet you.
- You too, dear.

- Alright then?
- I couldn't find it. I have my card.

- Found you.
- Easy.

- Oh it was easy, that's why.
- I'm thinking.

- Thinking? About what?
- My ears are broken.

I know that she's progressing,
but I'm worried.

She's learning that language
that no one in her school will know.

When you have a child, you want
them to be normal and perfect.

She is normal, Sue. She's just deaf.

Look, I know it's your area of
expertise, but you must understand,

I'm Libby's mother
and I know what's best for her.

No, of course you know best.

But schools don't always
understand deafness.

You have to fight for the support,
but it is there.

I know what I'm doing. I've been
a mother for a very long time.

I appreciate your concern. Paul and I
will arrange to see the head.

We won't send her to school without
being sure everything is in place.

- Hello.
- Hello, Joanne, you okay?

Yeah, I'm fine, I'm on the bike,
everything okay?

Just, erm. Sorry, this is a difficult
thing to say, but...

Paul and I have been talking

and we think it's best
if Libby stops the sign language.

- What? Why?
- Speech therapy Is a better choice.

- I'm sorry.
- I don't understand!

- She was doing so well!
- I know.

For school it's important that she
carries on with sign language.

We've talked a lot about this. We've
actually been in to see the head.

They had a little deaf boy a few
years ago and he was fine.

I'm nearly here, can I explain it
to her? She'll wonder where I am.

Okay, class, open your books.

Write the date at the top.
We'll start the spelling test.

Number one, 'there'.

Number two, 'hear'.

I love you.

I love you.