Thursday, April 17, 2008
CI Kids Observations Part II
What that man shared is more realistic. Not all deaf kids with cochlear implants have the same opportunities as Rachel and other kids, including yours. The C.I. is only a tool and it can be used to maximize the potential of the child's ability to hear and speak or be underutilized. There are many factors that determine the outcome of each child's c.i. usage.
However, I disagree with his assessment that Rachel is a cochlear implant failure. Though she may have some problems with the pronunciation of a letter due to her late cochlear implantation, her speech is fairly comprehensible, from what I was told. Most importantly she can understand pretty much what she hears.
In my observations, these comments are closer to the truth than are claimed in some other CI blogs.
In all, the CI is only one tool, and an incomplete one at that. It may be the best one for aided hearing that we have. Its limitations need to be recognized and all possible tools employed, especially ASL, for each individual child.
This is not to say that ASL is a better tool. The problem is that it is severely underrated as an effective tool, especially by parents and AVT professionals.
What this man has commented is very true as I work at a deaf contained classroom and I am seeing the same things that he so clearly described.
Many of these parents aren't willing to take the time to work with their deaf child, they don't even try to learn how to communicate with them at home and then when these children come to school, they are so hungry and desperate for human communication. I'm sure it is a torture for them to stay home during school breaks as they are frequently isolated from their deaf peers. Their parents do not even make any efforts for them to meet up with their deaf peers after school.
This man's comment is very much in reality with a lot of these deaf children these days.
I appreciate you listening and sharing this man's comment with all of us.
I'm sorry. I'm sick physically and I just get tired of the same old rhetoric from the deaf community that all CI children are failures because they are not using ASL. I doubt that my son would do very well with ASL since I DON'T KNOW ASL. (Not yelling). I would be learning with him so we would be at baby level right now. He has come much farther with his speech than signs. Not to say that one day we aren't going to go down that avenue, but right now it is not the mode of communication we are going with.
Please, please, please stop telling parents of kids with CI's that they are failures when some of us can plainly "hear" that they are not.
As for Rachael being a failure, she is an inspiration. Tell me how many other kids her age can travel the world alone, hearing or not? How many deaf kids who only use sign would be able to do that?
I get so sick of someone who doesn't know me or my situation telling me how I'm ruining everyone's life.
Jodi, I'm sorry but I just get riled up with a few of the deaf and their constant degrading. They have nothing nice to say and wouldn't admit anything positive if it was smiling right in their face. They would find another flaw. People who always look for the negative usually find it.
Commentary (ala Mishka:)):
The gentleman who provided his assessment based on his experience with CI kids and the commenters have all made important observations.
One thing that has always bothered me about the yahoo support groups and deafread.com (talking about blogs, not vlogs, because I do not understand the vlogs, so I don't watch them) is that they seem relatively demographically, ethnically uniform...and perhaps I am making an assumption here, but one can roughly understand a person's sensitivity level and intelligence by means of their writing skills. What I am trying to say is whether or not a person uses grammar correctly or not, the message conveyed is what matters - that message is a reflection of a person's sensitivity and intelligence.
Sometimes, we can identify race, ethnicity and gender merely by reading a name. Based on this, there is an entire portion of the population MISSING from the support groups and deafread.com, and it is no doubt this portion of the population that needs the most support to enable CI Kids to reach the greatest potential offered by a cochlear implant.
When approaching the issue from this perspective, given the image of a lost parent ("lost" for motives of weak character, financial situation, non-native speaker, broken family, ignorance, or misleading information) who was not provided with accurate information regarding what a cochlear implant actually involves, I begin to understand the perception that such a parent chose the cochlear implant to "fix his/her kid." These parents wrongly assume that sticking the processor on the ear is a "magic cure" of deafness. (Note: I find this strange because the ci companies all say that the CI is not a cure, but I will work with this hypothesis)And so, these children are lost, suffering from inadequate communication skills.
My own experience, together with those of the dedicated mothers and fathers on the support groups led me to IMMEDIATELY reject the word "fix."
KP wrote, "People who always look for the negative usually find it."
I am a person who ALWAYS looks for the "Positive," and I NEVER fail to find it. I am a little too naive. Perhaps, sometimes, it is important to look for the positive, but not at the expense of being so blind as to not see the negative. Only when we acknowledge the negative can true change occur.
In regard to Auditory Verbal Therapy, see Val's Blog..."Are We Well-Rounded?" couldn't have said it better myself!
This is what a typical parent on the support groups sounds like, just to give you an idea of where I'm coming from:
Jodi, I just had to comment, sorry it's so long.
AVT is not a waste, and I'm offended by that comment. It has helped my daughter hear and speak, without us sitting here 8 hours a day doing therapy. (When would I work? When would she go to school?) She has just one structured hour a week with a private therapist (paid for by our public school system, which has done a terrific job with accommodations); the rest of the time is life therapy. We talk about water, sun, laundry, the birds building a nest on our porch, seasons, animals, cars, dirt, food, cooking, whatever, as we go about our day.
My daughter plays soccer and softball, plants flowers, plays with Barbies, sings, dances, cries, gets mad, swims, converses with friends, fishes, has a great imagination, pitches fits, loves church, reads "Dick and Jane" books, and lives a full life.
No one told us a CI was a "magic fix," and no one told us it would work perfectly. We were told about the hard work it would take. A "poster child" was never held up to us as a goal; our goal has always been to help our daughter reach HER potential.
Thank you again to the gentleman who sent the observations, and to those who took the time to comment on what he had to say. *smile* Jodi