Thursday, January 24, 2008

Response to Amy Cohen Effron - Why I dig Deafread.com

Little late posting today, been out all day, overall a depressing day, but I am not one to dwell...I had a very informative talk with my friend Lorenzo who revealed some best kept secrets that would prohibit this blog from being posted on deafread.com, so I will remain silent:). It's important to have a good guy friend and he is proof that men and women can be friends...any opinions on that one!?

This was Amy Cohen Effron's comment on my Guilt-ridden blog, she asked some good questions that I would like to respond to...


Hi Jodi,

Awww... puberty, hormones or typical pre-teen stuff. Sometimes when kids have a meltdown, it means that this specific incident is really significant to Jordan's perspective. He probably was very frustrated trying to stand by himself, and resolve conflicts. That is when he may benefit getting new skills - called pro-social skills to cope any kind of conficts. Jordan is not a child anymore, and he is frustrated for not able to express himself - especially advocate himself in noisy classroom, dealing with teasing, etc...

These times, I personally went through and it really left a very lasting impression of me. I lashed out my parents, but I just don't know how to ask to 'teach' me to deal with these idiocy out there. I remembered how I felt left alone when my parents becomes busy with their schedule. I do not want to burden them, but at the same time I need them the most.

Jodi - don't feel guilty, and please see as a wonderful opportunity for you to give guidance to Jordan!

Also, I have a question that I'd really want to ask...

What exactly does DeafRead have that makes you so engrossed? What clicked you? What would it be like if you had never stumbled into DeafRead?

I am at awe by witnessing you how you became enlightened and showing so much respect to the Deaf/ASL community, and yet sharing your stories without offending us?

You have "hot damn" high emotional intelligence!

Amy Cohen Efron

Amy, thank you again for your comment. Now, to the business of answering your questions. One of the first posts I ever posted on deafread.com was the one about the premonitions. I was not surprised to find out my child was deaf. I have always been very sensitive to deaf individuals, and I have always felt guilty for not being able to communicate using ASL. I tried four years of college to sign up for an ASL class, unsuccessfully, due to schedule conflicts. My main reason for wanting to learn was that I worked my way through college in fast food restaurants, cocktail waitressing (we're talking backless tuxedo shirt, bow tie and high heels! Pat and Mike's Rockville, Md and 94th Aerosquadron College Park, MD)and waitressing (Bohager's Bar and Grill - Baltimore, Md)and I always felt so BAD that I had to use a pen and paper to communicate. I don't know, I've always been attracted to the deaf population, and when Jordan was diagnosed, I did not in any way feel sorry for him or feel the need to change him in any way.
The stories I read on deafread.com reflect my own situation here in Italy in so many ways, and I can relate to the frustrations, anger, sense of being misunderstood and underestimated and the strong need for a place to belong where one is accepted and comprehended...the need to advocate for a language that directly reflects a collective experience. There is NO superficiality on deafread.com, no one talks about how big their house is, what kind of car they drive or how much money they make...who really gives a shit anyway about this info? Feelings are what count and intelligent, sensitive opinions. I can't get enough of feelings and passion...this is what I have found on deafread.com. All of that and acceptance of my story, people who want to hear what I have to say. I need to talk, share, explain and feel accepted in this moment...writing this blog is a cathartic experience because I can finally express myself and be understood.
I don't care if people disagree with my choices. I don't care if people criticize my parenting skills, I am the first to do so. I am proud of my child in all that he does, successes and failures. There is nothing more powerful than a failure to teach us the road to take in the future and to make us humble. Humility is a powerful trait coupled with strength.
The most powerful aspect of deafread.com and the one commonality I have found in all posts is honesty. I get off on honesty...whether or not your opinions reflect my own, I respect an honest voice with a name attached to it. Deafread.com readers are ready to listen and hear about the cochlear implant, acceptance of the device is not an issue for me. Acceptance of the child or adult who wears the device is fundamental.
A highly detrimental aspect of Deafread.com is that people continuously use pseudonyms to hide their true identities for fear of backlash. My one goal in opening and creating more dialogue would be to help establish a safe environment to provide these people with enough encouragement to come out as themselves, free to speak out as who they really are without fear.
What a horrible element to have on a place as monumental as deafread.com...fear to indicate your true identity. This needs to be worked on asap.

Had I never found deafread (thanks to Abbie's Blog), I would be spending a helluva lot more time providing support for new parents and creating more cochlear implant awareness projects together with the moms on the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Circle - a HIGHLY motivated group of intelligent women who only care about the well-being of their children. I would not be neglecting the listen-up support group, although some of my comments are highly inappropriate:))))! Gotta shake up these frustrated moms every now and then! And...I would be writing my second book that I have the story for from beginning to end, but no time to write...some things are more important in this moment.
BTW...being offensive is totally against my nature (unless someone messes with my kids)...I'm a lover.
Any more questions??:)

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jodi --

You are not alone.

Find the support group who have the CIs and find the deafread so that you and CI people can share the same situation. That'll be the wealth experience.

Just learn from them and then get to know about the relationship with Jordan. Don't let let yourself down when Jordan lets himself down.

Make sure you and Jordan to find the right path.

White Ghost

Karen said...

Jodi, you rock!

A Deaf Pundit said...

Parenting is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. Parents don't deserve 99% of the criticism they get!

I'm glad you can find something in us that you can relate to... That's the best thing about the v/blogs. We're all finding out that we have more in common than differences. :)

Divided said...

This is in response to White Ghost...I don't agree with your comment whole heartedly. I am sure that you had good intentions when you said for Jodi to find her support group with CIs but that's isolating themselves completely. I see Jodi and others trying to reach into the deaf community and learning all they can. I'd like to see her keep blogging on Deaf Read. Although it would be best to access deaf community "in person" rather than over the internet...they would all learn a whole lot more. But the internet avenue is a start and we need to let them feel welcome. I don't necessarily agree with parents who decide to implant their young children but they're in a whole different dilema. I don't have any right to say you should have done this and that. I don't have any right to say that it is not the right thing to do. Who are we to make these decisions for others? Instead...we need to channel the parents in direction where they can get more information, encouragement, support, learning about other's experience and enlightment from the deaf community...and that's us!! There are times I don't feel embraced by my deaf community just because I am hard of hearing, yet when they find out my family are all deaf and I am 2nd generation "deaf" then their attitude changes...why is that? hummm...??? There are times I think that some deaf people have been too closed into their own world and are not as willing to open up and invite, embrace and work with others (deaf people who decide to get CIs, young children with CI's, new signers or deaf who learned other sign language or cued speech, and hearing people). Are we that selfish? Are we that self centered? Are we self serving?
As for those who say they don't want CI comments on Deaf Read....I usually pick and choose what I want to read and what I don't want to read so why are people complaining about them blogging on Deaf Read? I just don't get it or am I missing something??
Jodi, a paren't s job is never ending til you die....I remember my father's mother coming downstairs (we lived in a 2-story house with grandparents upstairs and us downstairs) telling my father it was time for him to go to bed (this was when my father was in his mid-40's). sheesh!!

deafsingle said...

oh,your are cool

Paotie said...

Jodi ..

Excellent article!

I've read a couple of your posts in the past and have been living vicariously in Italy through you. Excellent narratives with beautiful descriptions of your friends and conversations with people bring me back for more.

Keep on truckin' ..

:o)


Paotie

Rene Visco said...

Hi,

It's totally off-point.

Have you heard of this travel agency founded by a Deaf Italian American, Terry GIANSANTI called "Hands On Italia"?

http://handsonitalia.com/

I believe he has two deaf children and married to a Deaf Italian woman, now living in Rome. It won't hurt for you to contact him and share your experiences as an "American parent" living in Italy.

Anonymous said...

divided --

Making many choices are not easy.

Parents who are raising their children are very difficult job to make.

We have no right to tell the parents what to do.

However, it is okay for us to give them some advices and options. It is the parents' responsibilities for making decisions for the best interest of the children, not us.

It is *good* for the parents to learn some new things from Deafread.

White Ghost

Divided said...

White Ghost...
That's exactly what I was trying to say. Jodi and other parents need to feel that they are welcome to Deaf Read and we (the deaf community) need to make them feel that they are welcome as well.

Your intentions are good! :)
Ciao...