Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Deaf Community

Need an example of why hearing parents of deaf children don't want their children involved in the Deaf community? Here is a comment left on my blog by a Deaf adult who quite obviously disagrees with my parenting choices.

"LOL. I had to chuckle at this entry and comments, really.Nobody said anything to the hearing people who manipulated our lives in the long run. When we expel our opinions upon others, you whine?Actually, I believe that Deaf people were not sneering at the kid, they were RUDE at *you* because what you did was very selfish. "I want him to yowl like Mommy and Daddy!"That is the whole thing -- they were probably rude to the fact that you are selfish mother.R-Get a life.R-"

Hmmmm... name calling, rude comments. I don't want my son to be like you. Because you're deaf? No, because you are being nasty. In case you are wondering we started out signing with Noah as an infant and only chose a CI when after almost 2 years he didn't know any words or signs. In spite of the fact that it was recommended that we stop the signing when Noah was implanted we continued to sign so that he would be able to communicate with the Deaf community if he chose. In fact, Noah watches Signing Time videos to keep him occupied during his CI mappings. We didn't want Noah to see Deaf people at Walmart and not understand what they were doing - we wanted him to be able to communicate. Noah was not able to sign a single word until after he began speaking. His Optic Nerve Hypoplasia and Nystagmus made it so that that he was not able to make any sense of our hand movements until he connected the word that he heard with the sign that he saw. I don't recall ever thinking anything like "I want him to yowl like Mommy and Daddy". I'm pretty sure my decisions were made more based on access to communication and having a chance to make sense of his world. Sure, it's easier for me that he speaks my language but if he was only able to speak German then I'd just have to learn German, wouldn't I?

You know how I welcomed all the Deaf people in my last post and said I hoped you would stick around? I wasn't refering to people who were going to question my parenting choices or say that I was selfish. If I am so selfish, I think perhaps I might've given up on my little boy 2 years ago when he was fighting for his life in the NICU. When he was in septic shock the first time they told us that he would most likely be in a vegetative state and would certainly have some level of hearing loss. I was willing to accept my son no matter what. Yes, even if he was deaf.


Jamie said...

Just ignore that comment. That was Ridor. He is known for posting nasty comments on people's blogs.

The One and Only Ridor said...

The point is that when hearing people denied Deaf children's access to sign language, were you outraged? No, not at all.

You shrugged it off like many hearing people. When Deaf people started to take things in their own hands and assert their places in the society and minimize hearing people's interferences. That's when you and many other whined.

Why is that?

I can *promise* you, Emily, that your kid when he turns 16 or 18, he'll toss his implants away. I already met many, many deaf adults who threw the CIs away when they are in college. In fact, many of them eventually restricted, phased and resented their hearing parents for violating their bodies.

I don't know if your kid will resent you when he is 18 but if you do not learn ASL fluently, your kid will phase you out like many Deaf children of hearing adults.

Don't believe me? I came from a deaf family of seven generations and I have tons of Deaf friends whom has hearing parents -- nearly 80% of them stopped talking to their parents becaues they said their folks do not make an effort to learn ASL enough.

Why is that you wanted the kid to be implanted in order to meet YOUR convenience rather than to meet his needs/wants? One has to wonder the integrity and wonder the true agenda behind the parents.

Either way, you'll deal with the kid in the long run. I really feel sorry for you.

Often, people attacked me because I pointed out things out in a very honest, straightfoward manner. But over the time, people started to realize that I was right after all.

Why? Because I am always right on these things.



Jennifer said...

Hon, I think you have a troll leaving comments...I'm sorry. I believe that you're doing the best you can for Noah...and I applaud you for that. Ignore the naysayers...hang in there (((HUGS)))

SouthernDeafMom said...

Please, believe me. There is quite lot of people that do not like Ridor and he is *unfortunally* one of our kind (deaf). I'm deaf and I'm oralist plus I use ASL. What make me feel very compassion to you cuz you continue to use signing. My most important advocate is the communication by using all means. If one fail to understand use another method.. My family was told to stop signing. But they still support signing.. I grew up orally until I learn signing while I was teenager.. Please never stop signing or orally to your child.. Use all meanings of communication cuz you will want to develop a strong bond with your child. Sometimes somethings are soo fustration that you can't understand what they are saying and they spell it out.. It is like a light bulb go off in their head. I struggle with it all my life.. I'm glad my parents didn't really reject signing at all. We still fingerspelling. We still do oral method communication but when I do not understand. They will spell it out. It helps me a great deal. I can see you are good mom. I'm embarassed by Ridor. But just remember he is not represent the majority of us. He is single individual who believes in that. Not all of us do agree with what Ridor says. Just keep in mind. I could say Well, YOU Hearing people make our life hard by not giving us the time to understand you always leave us out. Call us mental retarded. Don't think we can survive in this world. Give us dirty or pity looks. But we didn't. Your child will deal with discrimination by both side. Hearing and Deaf. I was there and I have dealt with it both. Just remember to look at each of us as individuals. We are not all alike. That's all I ask of you.

Jodi Devine said...

As a mother of a child who has hearing loss, I am appaled at the comment left on your blog.

Perhaps it would be a good idea if this person took one step back and realised that parents of deaf children to the very best they can with what they have and know at the time.

Take a walk in our shoes..... I dare you to!

I personally think you are DOING AN OUTSTANDING JOB! Noah speaks so well. My Thomas only has hearing aids for moderate loss - but I am in awe of what Noah can do.

Kindest regards,

Jennifer said...


I'd like 'ridor' to walk in your shoes with everything you've gone through with your preemie and THEN judge.

He's an amazing boy who is deaf and has limited sight - how much can you get stacked against you and still be able to communicate as well as he does at his age? Talking in sentences?!

"Why is that you wanted the kid to be implanted in order to meet YOUR convenience rather than to meet his needs/wants? One has to wonder the integrity and wonder the true agenda behind the parents."

I think you missed the fact that his limited sight made signing almost impossible to learn... did you see that part? Would you really advocate a deaf/blind kid to go through life without either sense if medicine can offer one? You're deaf, can you imagine being blind on top of that? How much harder would functioning on a daily basis be for you? Think about it...

What an ass hat

Jessica said...

Emaily, you are doing a wonderful job with Noah! I don't understand why anyone wouldn't want a child to have every chance at communication that is available to him. That is IGNORANCE. Ignore the troll.

The One and Only Ridor said...

Troll? Take a best shot, dear.

Jessica, I'm Deaf from a long line of Deaf families. Several of my best friends are deaf-blind individuals. Several of my former consumers at a deaf-run agency were deaf-blind as well.

I know what it is like to be in their shoes.

Don't go on prattling about what it is like about.

I know what I'm talking, you dimwits.


Emily said...

To whom it may concern,
I don't like when people name call or use bad words on my blog. Cut it out! I am fine with differing opinions but if you can't stop calling each other names I'm going to have to start deleting your otherwise well thought out and informative comments. If you want to insult each other do it on your own blogs.

patti durr said...

Emily -

i am sorry you received negative responses to your post re: your encounter in Walmart. I do not justify or support the hostility that has come your way.

2 things to keep in mind:
1 - the positive comments outweigh the negative in terms of value and volumen - keep your eyes on those instead of the nasty one

2- your blog posting was in all honesty a bit of an attack on the Deaf community at large. this is because i imagine u r feeling on the defense about your choice to implant Noah and some posters responded defensively in return

a bit of an eye for an eye etc

now in your new posting you entitle it "The Deaf community"

this hurts me. one responder who prides himself on being outrageous is not THE Deaf community.

Do i like how he addresses u - no i do not.

The danger in your posting is that it engages in stereotyping - u r making assumptions about Deaf people and the Deaf community based on this one individual or a few others

Just as he is making assumptions about you as a parent who chooses a CI for your son

stereotyping is very very destructive

while it pains me to see how Ridor is speaking to u and others via this blog, it also pains me to see others comments that clearly show that they only see Noah's DISABILITIES - they have a very "pity" the poor child tone.

I have a son whose name is Noah - when he was a baby he was in the NICU - he did not face nearly as many of the health issues as your noah did but still i was wrecked with worry and great great concern for him. i tear up just thinking about it

i can tell u r a very very very loving mom. u want to do right by Noah.

I loved your comment in your other posting about how Noah is in love with ASL

it was such a beautiful way for you to express it - for one to be IN LOVE with....

u also acknowledge the value of noah having ASL in his life so he can be a member of the Deaf community. I am sure you will see other benefits for Noah to have ASL as well - it is the most fully accessible language for him - especially if the signer is within his space range and if tactile signing will be of benefit to him

I grew up hard of hearing - i can speak and use the phone etc but i did not feel emancipated as a thinker, as a human being until i learned ASL at the age of 19+

it is the most fully accessible language to me and it offers me such depth and richness in addition to giving me entry into the Deaf community etc as u mentioned

With my son's health issues and educational struggles - i too have struggled with decision-making and also with worrying about his future. he is now an AWESOME ten year old. quirky and cool and a great gem of a guy. He is hearing - if he were Deaf i would surely have wrestled most heavily with the best educational setting for him - that is a huge issue.

While i would not have opted for a CI for my Noah, i fully understand why u did so. I am glad that no complications resulted from his surgery, that u r seeing some benefits, and that most especially you see and value that he is "in love with ASL"

I can imagine the two of you and hopefully dad too having many fun, serious, difficult, and common place conversations that make up family life in this language and when u look back those may be ur fondest "kitchen table chats"

if ever u want to have a videophone chat or ichat - it would be most welcome

i too have a tendency to focus on negative comments instead of seeing the volume and validity of the positive around us

be well and much peace


Emily said...

To Patti Durr:
I'm unsure what a videophone chat is. Do I have to be good at ASL to do it? Could you explain?

23wktwins'mommy said...

I think I am oblivious as to why opting for a CI is so controversial. In spite of my ignorance on the topic, I think it is ridiculous that you are targeted on YOUR blog for the decisions YOU made for YOUR child. Just want you to know I think you're an AMAZING mother and the reason Noah has come SO far. I too am soo impressed with his language!!!

abby said...


You know this already: you are a fabulous mom and a wonderful advocate for Noah in all sorts of ways. You are also a wonderful writer and have shown tons of sensitivity on this issue (as well as many many others). Ignore trolls, deaf and otherwise.