Friday, January 11, 2008


Nope...let the dialogue begin. I originally entitled the blog, "NO NEED TO HEAR TO LISTEN," this does not imply that those people who can hear automatically know how to listen. Italian is a profound language and there is one verb - sentire that can be used for three of our English verbs to feel, to hear and to touch. (my husband used to say, "Can I hear..." instead of "Can I touch..." so funny-took me a while to get why that was:))I hear and feel what Aidan has commented as this experience with my son has touched my life profoundly. Having lived what I have experienced with Jordan, some of Aidan's comments are too familiar and I can accept what she says as personal failures -we went through the period of temper tantrums and frustration together- that my son and I will one day deal with in a mother-son heart to heart...maybe.

Aidan commented:
This statement of yours is in fact a judgmental statement itself. If you weren't being judgmental, you would be able to put yourself in other people's shoes and see what we see. You don't have to agree but you should want to be able to see where we are coming from and know we have very valid points of concern.

The only thing I can't accept is being called judgemental, having lived through the pain of consciously deciding to concentrate on an oral approach despite acknowledging, respecting and loving his deaf identity and all of the incredible history associated with it. Mine: There are too many judgmental voices unwilling to take a liberal stance in regard to the cochlear implant and hearing parents...was merely an observation based on other parents' experiences, blogs read and vlogs viewed.

As I've said before, the families' experiences told on this blog are to be respected and protected, but anyone can feel free to question my experience, and I will be totally honest in my response. I have only met one other individual as sensitive as my son and this guy is deaf as well. Lorenzo wears hearing aids and all of Jordan's life, people have compared him to Lorenzo. (the character, Luca, in RALLY CAPS is actually a combination of Jordan and Lorenzo)
This afternoon, (I've been out all day and the comments are just too deep for me to address right now with my dysfunctional brain) I scheduled a meeting with the man who has been responsible for paving our journey here in Italy. Lorenzo's grandfather established a precedent for the oral approach to deafness in Grosseto to help his grandson, and he is currently the President of our Association. Earlier this morning a woman called me to tell me that the BANCA DI VOLTERRA is offering funds for non-profit organizations trying to get some initiatives off the ground. I had spoken to this woman about trying to organize a website with information on all approaches to deafness, a forum and support groups. I would also like to organize a mini-convention to inform and provide information to pediatricians, child psychiatrists, psychologists, speech therapists, audiologists, etc. regarding the cochlear implant, not just regarding medical aspects, but the role of the family as the primary advocate for the child within the process.
The Italian Health Care System works as far as covering medical expenses, but it is seriously lacking in regard to moral support and resources. Anyway, the whole point of this is that I went to talk to Lorenzo's grandfather and Lorenzo happened to stop by for an extended visit. We got deep for something like two hours, talking about his experience growing up as a deaf child. He has so much in common with my son, he is sensitive to the point of exasperation. He told me that he considers himself lucky to have been born deaf because his experiences in overcoming all of the problems, ridicule, difficulties in school have led him to view the world on another level. When his friends were having problems at home, with school or with other friends, he was the one who helped them through their issues- who could really hear what they were feeling. He was given the gift of sensitivity and human compassion together with the ability to make people laugh and is truly one of the most remarkably mature people I have ever met...yes, I'm in love with him too - but he's just way too young. He is happy walking in his shoes. He is also the first deaf person who speaks to host a television program in Italy. He is twenty-two years old.
I hope that the inspired parents of deaf children with cis who are speaking through this blog will help eliminate the most disgusting, despicable and repulsive statement ever left on this blog: "The people who support those methods are still struggling to find a system by which they hope to "fix" Deaf children" because we are just not about that.
And you, Aidan Mack, are all about listening-feeling-and-trying to touch the soul, so I have no doubt you are beginning to realize this fact.
Colbie Caillat's lyrics for BUBBLY


Karen Mayes said...

Beautiful blog. I enjoyed reading about your meeting with a deaf man (I chuckled at your moping that he was too young for you) which helped you to appreciate the need for sensitivity toward people.

A Deaf Pundit said...

Please know that Aidan Mack does not represent all of us Deaf. There are many of us who disagree with what she says and her methods.

We just want to see a balance in the debate of CIs. All we hear is the positive side of CIs, and we know that it is not always successful.

I respect each parent's decision when it comes to their children. If the parent wants a CI for their child, then great. As long the parent is given the full picture on CIs. That doesn't happen often enough, sadly.

So,I do see a need for unbiased, impartial information to be presented. By no means is that any fault of the parents here, and I don't understand the anger at the parents, personally.

I'm sorry you and other parents were attacked. You guys do NOT deserve that at all.

Anonymous said...

I like Aidan. If you meet her in person, you will like her.

leah said...

There are times I am so glad Nolan's loss is in the moderate range and we don't have to make the decisions about cochlear implantation like so many parents. My hat is off to all parents who struggle to do what is best for their children.

Anonymous said...

Aidan Mack doesn't really attack you...You sound like trying to make fun of her. You turned me off!

If you make fun of her, you are actually make fun of your deaf child as well!

Elizabeth said...

Jodi, I love your blog and adore the life you've made as far as I can peep at it through the window of your blog. Your family has been such an inspiration to my family.

I chose a different method (my deaf child is learning ASL as primary language, English as a second language, and hey maybe Mandarin and Italian some day too, right?) after much research and thought and discussion about our daughter, us, where we live and what we have access to, and how far we can go to integrate a massive change in the family's language and methods of communication.

Oh yes, and my daughter has the controversial -- and wonderful -- CI as another communication tool (for which I'm continually slammed by the community I want my child to be part of, but aren't we all, and at least that means the dialogue is happening). I know you don't need any validation from afar, but because you may be feeling some pinch from harsh comments, I just wanted to say that I think your choices sound, feel, and touch me (had to) as being absolutely right for your family and your situation and I do so admire your approach!

Unknown said...

Thank you for the comments from the people who understood what I was trying to say. For those of you who thought I felt "attacked," that is not what I feel. I was trying to say, obviously I did not do it well enough, that I think Aidan Mack is an amazing person and I look forward to reading more from her as long as she eliminates that one sentence from her vocabulary:) Note: I have never been personally attacked, (nor have I received any comments that I haven't posted aside from some toy website) this is why I have no problem being objective in this matter. Jodi

Unknown said...

To the person who took the time to leave a comment that I did not accept, I understood what you were saying, but this is not the place to point fingers, make accusations, etc unless you would like to put a name and face to your comment, as the person you mentioned did. I consider being accountable for what we say a number four to your list of three...thank you, I hope you return to read and understand why I did not feel it was appropriate to post your comment - which was not offensive, just unnecessary in regard to what this blog is about. Jodi

Anonymous said...

No one in the blog makes a conflict. It's you who makes
a conflict. Then you're the one
who is hypocritic and dishonest,

If you were honest, you'd have deleted Deaf Pundit's ugly,
character-assassinating post.

Thank you.

Unknown said...

Happy now? Jodi

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