Thursday, May 22, 2008
Oh, Your Child is Deaf, I'm SO SORRY...
Fuck you? Here's my foot, wanna see it up your ass? Ignorant bitch? Nooooooooo, we must bite our tongues and educate. Do you know how many times I was given a look of Pity when I told a person my son was Deaf? Can you even imagine the Anger? Yes, I am quite sure You can. I was asked the question, Deaf or Not-Deaf: Who is the more qualified Parent?
Just like my comparison between "qualified" and "unqualified" ASL Teachers, my reply remains somewhere in the middle. A Deaf child born to Deaf parents or Hearing parents will be happy if that child is loved. Here, the communication methodology is Not an issue, the quality of parenting skills is the determining factor.
In Val's The Haircut post, she wrote:
Unfortunately a different stylist opened her mouth (she's done this before!) and apologized to me for my kid being deaf!!!! I played dumb and when she said "I'm sorry" and rolled her eyes toward Gage, I said "excuse me?" and sat there until she made herself clear she was referring to my kid! I wanted to give her a chance despite her previous record. I quickly stated she needn't apologize, it doesn't bother him...I can't wait to go back though, I have a whole list of other things I'd like to say! I mean strike three and you're out right? Even a seven year old has more respect!
Been there, experienced that... and God there is just such rage that builds up to the point of explosion. However, instead of exploding, I educate, share and inform. I wear Cochlear Implant Awareness Gear,
keep my kid's hair cut really short
and write about our experience (in two different languages).
*Then, I let Jordan speak for himself about his Deafness*
People fear what they do not know or understand. When issues regarding Deafness, cis, and ASL/Signing Time etc. go mainstream, the population at large has a greater opportunity to become educated and that fear of the unknown disappears. Rest assured that in this Italian town, we are killing ignorance one person at a time.
I believe in God. I have Faith. 96% of Deaf children are born to Hearing parents (not Deaf parents) and a great number of US Hearing parents are ready to raise our children's voices and use our own. We even learn ASL.
Regarding who is the more qualified parent of a Deaf child, I am obviously unable to Empathize with many of Jordan's experiences in the way that a Deaf parent could, but I am raising my voice together with his and that has to count for something.
PS. This is a MUST-READ POST BY PAOTIE...I WAS ON THE FLOOR. (Dad, click on it, it's the most creative, spectacular take on the game of Golf I've ever read! Even makes the sport seem interesting...*smile*)