Saturday, July 12, 2008
Deaf Peddler Number 2
I'm stuck at home on a hot as butt day here in Grosseto, because my kids were too tired to go to the beach. We are the ONLY idiots in Grosseto sitting home. Of course, now they're bored and driving me crazy, so I'm seeking shelter in my blog while Jordan complains and paces and Lola pees all over the house.
Last night, Luca and I went to dinner in Punta Ala, a touristy beach town about twenty-five minutes from where I live and began discussing all of these recent developments that have occurred since the NHS 2008 Conference. I started running down my list of ideas about how to "change the world," when a Deaf Peddler dropped off one of the typical cards stating: "I AM DEAF. I am not asking for handouts, just a little bit of assistance from you to be able to live with dignity in this society. I would like to offer you these objects for the price of 4.00 euros (each)(if you would like to offer additional assistance, that would be up to your good heart)"
I didn't feel the need to vomit this time...I just felt really sad. This young man was from Russia, he sprinted around the restaurant quickly dropping the cards and items from table to table and then quickly collecting them. He was working hard. We bought the brightest flashlight I've ever seen for 5 euros. And he went on his way.
Nor did I feel sorry for him, because he was working hard and actually looked satisfied with the work he was doing. I just didn't want or envision that future for my son.
We are extremely fortunate to have access to excellent healthcare, free healthcare. My son has opportunities that people in smaller countries do not have. I will be speaking at a conference in Bulgaria in September regarding the fact that raising a Deaf child is a 50-50 shared responsibility between the Health Professionals and Parents- I'm very curious to see that healthcare reality. (and Bulgaria *smile*)
Choosing to provide Jordan with amplification was a no-brainer. Choosing the cochlear implant was a very difficult decision, because of Jordan's individual situation. However, I wouldn't think twice about implanting my twelve month old child and yes, teaching the child sign language as a bridge where necessary.
I had a conversation with our child psychiatrist who gave me a Powerpoint presentation he had prepared for a speech on Pre-School Aged Deaf Children: Oral Methodology or a Global Approach? He wrote: Only a global approach that recognizes the necessity to amplify, other than the linguistic competencies, also the communicative, cognitive and intercommunicative competencies guarantees the harmonic development of the deaf child.
Only a global approach that favors the proper integration and consistent monitoring of the language acquisition process by means of holding meetings, discussing programming and evaluating work performed by the many professionals involved in the process guarantees a context in which it is possible to carry out all specific training necessary for acquiring vocal language.
I really don't think the Russian guy peddling's parents had access to a healthcare system or health professionals like ours in Italy or my child psychiatrist, who were willing to approach deafness and the deaf child...globally.
Although, maybe I'm wrong.