Saturday, August 9, 2008

Drolz...Beautiful Post Re: Mainstreaming Vs. Deaf School (Baseball Version)

Hi Drolzy. (http://www.deaf-culture-online.com/baseball.html - internet cafe computer issues) *smile* We haven't spoken in a while, but I always read you when I see your posts because they enrich me. Of course you know that I am a passionate baseball fan, so this one in particular interested me.

You are such a sensitive dad, that was obvious in the language you use to talk to your child and the fact that you saw his distress in the photo. Just as an aside, I remember about two years after I found out Jordan was Deaf, and started to breathe again since we had established our speech therapy routine, I took a look back at his photos from his first ten months of life in the States. Five of my closest friends all had babies during a span of two months, so we did everything together...baby groups, Halloween, New Year's Eve, etc. In every single one of those photos, despite the young age, all of the babies in the photos were looking at the camera except for Jordan - that's how I knew he was born deaf, after all we did only get the official diagnosis at twelve months.

Photos don't lie.

And neither do Deaf children.

We sent Jordan to baseball camp, too, a year ago. Our experience was a little different because Jordan only spoke Italian and this was an American baseball camp where all of the children spoke English, we knew there would be communication issues. Luca or I stayed with Jordan and transitioned him into the camp until he felt comfortable enough to stay a couple of hours alone. By the end, he was playing baseball with his peers, high fiving, sliding and getting physical with the boys...he had fun...but...

He had the sad look every now and then, too.

In some photos he was rip-roaring happy

In others he looked a little lost

Maybe it was because we introduced Jordan as being from Italy and only speaking Italian, but the ironic part of it all was that his teammates did not realize he was deaf (despite the fact that he wore his ci all the time - that's kids for ya). They just thought he was Italian and couldn't understand or speak the language very well. I know this because the last day of camp, his ci batteries went dead. As I was changing them, his teammates tried talking to him, and I explained to them that Jordan couldn't hear them until I finished changing the ci batteries. Reply: "You mean, he's Death?"

By the end of the experience Jordan had learned some new vocabulary, and so had the American kids. He also learned some important social skills and came back to Italy proud of his American baseball camp experience, where he found his whole Italian team waiting for him.

Safe at home...
In Italy.

9 comments:

mishkazena said...

Yes, Drolz is a great dad as well as a talented writer. I love his stories.

It can be hard at the beginning being with a group of kids speaking a different language. However, that's the best way to learn a new language. Kids are like sponges. :)

Anonymous said...

mishkazena

er...hmm...hmm...do u mean all deaf people BUT drolz aren't talented writers?

u're as discriminatory as ever, puttin' deaf people's writing under ur worn-out microscope, haha...yeah, u're right that no one but drolz can write. aaaahhhh, well, nothin' new about u.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon,

Did Mishkazena mention "deaf people" ?? Get a life!! If this is hearing blog, hearing Drolz, hearing Mishkazena AND you.. hearing anon...

You would not say "do you mean all people but drolz aren't talented wrtiers" ?? JUST GET A LIFE!! Sorry, Jordan. I had to say something.

mishkazena said...

Anon

Please do show me where I say that

Boy, you are really looking for a fight, hiding behind an anonymous name, aren't you? This isn't healthy. You are giving people a bad impression of you know what, don't ya know?

Chill out.Take time off to enjoy a stroll around the lake. Life is TOO short to be bitter and angry :D

Mark Drolsbaugh said...

Hey Jodi,

Wow, thanks! Greatly appreciate your post. Enjoyed reading about Jordan's experience - baseball (which we obviously cant get enough of LOL) is really good at breaking language barriers!

("Safe at home... in Italy" - I love that!)

Seems both our kids had to go out of their comfort zone a bit. But once the umpire says "Play ball!" there's a new comfort zone where everyone's having fun.

Not to sugarcoat anything, of course... those sad looks definitely tug at the old heartstrings. Nonetheless Darren did bring home some new knowledge and experience and I'm thrilled to learn Jordan did the same. Who knows, maybe their paths will cross on a baseball field someday. That would be awesome :)

Thanks again for your kind words - ditto to Miska Zena!)

Best regards,
Drolz

Anonymous said...

kids! they don't care where they came from, the language that they speak, the color of their skin nor if they have an handicap when it came to play.. they just wanna have fun.. adults should learn from them..

Michelangelo Merisi

Hi Jo! ;-P

Jodi Cutler Del Dottore said...

Hi Mishka!
Thanks for your comment!

Anon, you are way out of line, read more carefully next time, before irrationally exploding.

Mark...one day, one day, we will hang. *smile*

MM, thank you for your comment :p, Jodi

Paula Rosenthal said...

Hi Jodi, Sent you an email the other day. Not sure if you got it? Drop me a line, miss you! P

Karen said...

I always enjoy Mark's articles. He's a gifted writer, that's for sure!

I can't tell you how many times people ask me if I'm death. It's easy to lipread as the tongue comes forward.

I always answer with, "Hmm, last time I checked, I had a pulse." :)