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Thursday, July 14, 2011

what Reality? A bi-cultural bi-lingual notion

So I've been reading. A lot. Of what the Deaf Community likes to speak out on. How they enlighten newbies...oldies and naysayers. View on life, Childhood, their parents, H.As, C.Is, being oral, no speech at all.ASL and signing alike.
To then the product at Sophies hands. Hearing aids for the profoundly deaf...Cochlear implants made by TONS of different hearing technology companies. Audists views, ENT Docs. Therapies and the NOTION that life would be sweet and blissful after implantation.
Videos and reads that make it seems as tho the implantee will Eventually be able to listen fluently, speak clearly, feel alive and empowered and grateful. They get recipients to sit in for an interview and speak about life before and after. The Grandness of it all!
But what saddens me is that out of all the videos, ONLY 1 i've seen showed a teenage girl, speaking, listening and signing in what technically can be called her native language! A beautiful language!...ONE video

the product videos and information forget to imform the viewers the actual amount of time and practice and skill the person then puts into using their BIONIC ear. The time taken away from child interaction, after school activities and such. True...with an implant the joy of sound comes to life. Music is heard and not just felt. Speech is a bit better, inflection is recongizable. Sounds may come "easier" to those who think its a magic hear all solution...and maybe it is, for those recipients, who have had some sound before and gradually lost it! Those priviledged enough to have had enough sound before Hearing loss and learned to speak. who already know what music sound waves actually sound like.

How About those in Sophies case. Lost it as an infant. Doesnt know what sound is. Wouldnt understand it at first. Wouldnt know where to look for it...PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. like learning to play an instrument. Which infact the hearing technology some what is. To learn, to distinguish where, what, who and why things sound the way they do...its a different form of hearing. Its still something that is worked on. Through out life...while it might not be a stuggle to listen and hear but its still a job, to pay attention to!

Yes yes the apposing arguments rebuttal...everything takes practice. Even with the CIs she will have to Practice reading lips, and pay more attention to her surroundings. She will still have countless speech therapies to help her orally, and ASL communication will take practice as well, and the whole family must join in on learning.(where we can then rebuttal,ASL is a language and just as hearing children learn speech at ages 0-3 to as does The deaf with ASL, they will learn their ABC's and 123's in the same manner just a different format)


So, this leaves us where? Still stuck. Im batting all around what to do in the life of our Daughter. Im doing my best to make informed decisions, and not go based off what may be easier, or what may make her average. And A lot of my readers...may not like my stand on the position, THeres no right answer! Just what is right for right now. A dear friend how ever did bring to light,that...maybe we found out Matt was joining army, and then Sophie was deaf,to better help us aquire any tool to help her in her Journey...CIs after all are extremely expensive,and the army has great coverage. Therapies are expensive. Private Schools are expensive.

Reality is in the definition. Maybe? Possibly? Is it? our Reality is Having a deaf daughter, which, lets be honest, Is amazing! And With or Without CI's its a matter of fact and will never change. So its our reality...The question is where does she fall in line. Deaf Community, Hearing World, the in between bouncers.
In one day and age there was the oralists. Deaf people who in a sense were forced into speaking only, and lip reading to make due...because Families didnt or couldnt learn ASL...in some way shape or form, does CIs feel the same way?
We dont want to comform, yet. Pick or choose...you comform either way! its a matter of heart and desire and how hard you are willing to work.

Some say super smarts come with ASL...learning to read at an Early age. great body language readers...deaf super powers! Other idiots think...deaf and dumb, as I have read time and time again in my research. SO sad and uncalled for. Its a lot to take into consideration.

So...to be bi-cultural and bi-lingual, to live in both worlds. One foot inside each...is it possible? as more and more Deaf receive the implant, and the old Deaf community is either disappearing or changing with the times...to be more accepting DUE to the large amount of receivers. Can living in both worlds, HELP! In this day where BULLYING is a media frenzy. Having a place to belong seems to be key, making others feel welcomed and wanted and loved and NOT bad about themselves, makes all the difference in a childs life. Yet, As I have come across people from both of these sides..its seems to me that CI children fail to belong...and for what reason I dont truly know. YET!

While, it was said to me once.."how could I consider leaving Sophie in her present Deaf state?when we have this instrument as an option" AS if to be abuse...Really is it abuse? its all she knows, and yet shes the happiest and Easiest 2 year old I've seem. Shes Flamboyant and mysterious and loveable and full of character...sure she can be the polar opposite at times...but that comes with the fact shes Deaf...and I truly dont believe an implant is going to make her SCARY tactics of Sophie-ness any less dramatic and heavy!

Havent made my mind up yet...New Doctors,new thoughts, new possiblities...So lets see.

Thought of the fact programs can kick us out of it, if we get CIs and still use and learn ASL as a communication baffles me...really????? WHY??? WHY??? but its ok to teach hearing kids, of all mannerisms to sign, as a form of communication...but not CI kids! WHAT THE F???? lets see if Fort Lewis Speech and therapies feel that way.

Docs on the 18th. Lets see what happens after that!!!! <3