Jamie Berke, back in the house! First of all, I need to say, for those who misinterpreted my post about Aidan Mack that her response to me, touched me, and I understand where she is coming from...as the mother of a deaf child. I did not at all feel like I was under attack, I just wanted to throw her name in the post so more people would read that we are creating an open dialogue. Guilty of name-dropping. I will resort to such tactics for the purpose of letting the Deaf Community know that I am listening to them and their individual experiences. Our experience is kind of different, yet very similar in that living in Italy, Jordan and I both had to learn a language that was not our own, as many hearing parents do when teaching ASL to their children. Learning two languages (LIS (Italian Sign) and Italian) would have been too much to add to the equation. I was unable to speak to Jordan in English as it would have been too confusing for him, he wore hearing aids at the time. We were such a mess:), we still are, but now we realize that that is just part of our daily routine and nature.
Can I just say that the big D really pisses me off as the hearing mom of a deaf child? That big D says EXCLUSIVE CLUB MEMBERSHIP REQUIRED (for some- the price is just too high), but it also says "we need to protect ourselves-" a powerful combination. Jamie Berke wrote:
Without that type of struggle, will the new CI generation identify as deaf? This is what is scaring the older generation of deaf people so much - the thought that fewer and fewer young deaf people will choose to identify as deaf.
What people need to realize and appreciate is that the mothers of ci kids who have been leaving comments are reaching out to the DEAF COMMUNITY with voices that are saying, we love our deaf kids, why don't you? We recognize their deaf identity, why don't you? We would like to be reassured that there is a place within the DEAF COMMUNITY for our kids and for that to occur, our choice of the cochlear implant must be accepted.
Loved this comment left on Mishka's Blog:Hey Mishka Zena,
You’ve got a great thing going here, thank you for doing this. I also appreciate the relatively flame-free dialogue going on in the comments section. (*Gasp!* Could we actually be learning from each other?)
Before I make my own point, I’d like to add that my son (who will soon turn 9) started rapidly losing his hearing at age 7 and now has an ASL interpreter in his school. And one of his best friends in school has a CI. It’s funny because if you ask my son if he wants a CI he’ll cringe, and his friend with the CI doesn’t show much interest in ASL… but regardless, they still get along great. Obviously kids are smarter than adults
Anyway, the point I wanted to make: regarding the request for more CI stories from the actual CI recipients themselves (instead of their parents)… I understand the “next generation” of CI users is too young to post here so that’s a bit problematic.
At the same time, I can’t help but be wary because when I was a kid, there were just so many teachers and hearing relatives raving about how great I was doing. I believed them. I really thought I was doing great. Not until I later attended Gallaudet did I realize that I’d actually missed out on a lot. I never spoke up in my earlier years because I didnt have a frame of reference. (This is similar to the “Met Deaf, Wow!” phenomenon that Gina Oliva beautifully describes in the “Through Deaf Eyes” documentary.)
So it’s through my own experience as a deaf person, not out of disagreement or disregard, when I’m not sure how to interpret it when I see a parent or medical professional speaking on behalf of deaf children. Perhaps this dialogue will help us learn more about each other.
Again, I’m enjoying the comments here and would love to see more from all perspectives.
Thank you for doing this
I get that people are wary based on their own personal experience, but they need to come to terms with their personal experiences and not project that negativity on a generation of others. We are all about trying to love every single identity that makes up our kids.
Speaking of love, my son has been in love since he was in the first year of elementary school. He has gone through a series of crushes and last night he handed me a note:
Hi, Sara! I would like to ask you a question: would you like to be my girlfriend? Please.(then he drew three boxes under which, he wrote: yes...no...I don't know (rofl...about the three boxes))
Jordan, I want to be your FRIEND FOREVER, because I don't want to ruin our friendship. (Note: FRIEND and FRIENDSHIP were underlined five times each)
On the back of this note, Jordan wrote:
How much do I like you? Infinity and beyond and if you will be my girlfriend, I will buy you everything that you want. (little too materialistic for me, but he is an eleven year old loverboy)
He would kill me if he knew that I just told the world, but if there is one thing about me, it's that I still haven't learned how to keep my big, fat mouth shut!