Saturday, January 31, 2009

Parents Always Make Mistakes

On the last post, John left a comment and said, referring to Jordan:
"Let's hear what he has to say when he is 21 years old."

I hope that he says that I was a good mom. He will one day reach that age where he sees me as a person, not just as a mom, and he will judge me, my lifestyle and my character. We all grow through that period at one point in our lives, it's never easy. We realize the mistakes our parents made with us, so we are forced to look at the reasons why they made such mistakes. We go through a period where we judge them, then if we are truly evolved human beings we begin to understand them and even empathize with them for having erred. And we all make many mistakes.

Love is the saving grace. Because, if we manage to make our children feel loved along the way with all of the many mistakes we make, they will get through the period where for the first time in their lives, they detect weakness in the two human beings who had always been rocks.

I'm sure Jordan will have quite a bit to say when he's 21 years old...he's already started complaining and he's twelve.

Luca wrote a post for the CI Circle Blog that has yet to be completed and he wrote, "Looking back at my life, thinking about all I've experienced after my son was born, all the good and the bad moments that I've lived... I wanna tell you one thing: if I could go back and have the power of choosing my son, I would want him the way he is.. I would want him exactly the same, I wouldn't change a dot of him.
He is my son, my perfect wonderful deaf son and I love him.


(When he gives us hell, I'll be sure to show him this post...)


Anonymous said...

Beautiful post.

VBnBama said...

Dang, is Luca gonna make me cry?? Hurry up w/the cicircle blog article, sounds like a good one **grin**

mishkazena said...

Yes, even the best parents make mistakes, too.

I have no doubt you are a good mom.

Anonymous said...


You are definitely a good Mom.

And so was my Mom too, she was full of heart to me but I told her that I wished that she did not listened to some people that I should not learned Sign Language.

I learned Sign Language when I was 19 and my life changed.

It is really nothing wrong with learning Sign Language and it would have made my learning speech so much easier.

Respectfully yours

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post!

I must admit that I am evilly envy of your son who speaks Italian language, sentences and grammars when I saw you and him together in the video! Good job for raising him right.

I *cannot* speak in Italian, the real tough one! Duh me!

That's why your'e my queen b*tch! ;-)

White Ghost

Anonymous said...

I think now that I am a parent , I judge my parents all the time--- the faults but also the triumphs in a different way than when i was 21. I strive very hard not to f*ck my son up. :) For instance he HATES inflatable jumping places and tomorrow we are attempting a birthday party at one. I expect tears but then hopefully he may try the "bounce house." I am stressing now and will right there along with him tommorrow. I wonder am I making a mistake?????

btw .. great post by Luca. SOunds like Jordan has 2 GREAT parents

deb b

Anonymous said...

Research shows that children who have involved parents, do have higher achievement levels. So there is no doubt that your son will thrive.

There are very loving parents who are mislead that signing would impede their child's ability to speak. This is a fallacy. In fact, research is now pointing out that children with cochlear implants do better socially, emotionally, and academically when they are exposed to sign language during the critical language years.

My point is that millions of Deaf people have been raised orally and not exposed to ASL or the sign language of their country until after speech fails or later in their life just because of the misinformation that their parents
were given. This has caused a lot of people to struggle in life because of being lingually and socially deprived. This is a tragedy.

This does not make their parents bad parents. I am sure they loved their children, as much as we love our children. It is that the system has failed them.

The bottom line is that Deaf children can thrive bilingually through their visual, natural language of signs and English or whatever language of their country via in reading and writing and/or speaking.

It is not a one way only approach and we need to start embrace the value of visual language through signs in bilingualism.

Karen Mayes said...

Ahhh... nice!

I stopped judging my parents after I had my kids. ;o) I am very close to my father, who does not sign at all and I have NO bitterness toward my parents for making the decision for me to send me to an oral deaf school. In fact, I am grateful for them.

Yes, JOHN, I am glad I went to CID.

No, JOHN, I don't regret that my parents did not learn sign language... because we STILL communicate, even today.

All because of parental involvement.

I have NO wishing for what my parents should have done. We all make the best decisions.

So, please, next time, John, don't tell hearing parents what they should have and should not have done with their deaf child/children, especially after they made the decisions.

Yes, I learned sign language at NTID. I have no regrets. I have no regrets for my past. It is GOOD to have NO regrets... because if one chooses to have regrets, one would become sad and bitter... dwelling on regrets... which we don't want that.

Jodi, you are a good mom. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Dianrez said...

You'll have arguments on both sides even from Deaf people who use ASL on a daily basis.

Personally, it doesn't hurt to include ASL in the child's life even when he is doing well with CI and aural/auditory methods. It is reversible, often useful and potentially family-saving either now or at a future time when the family is composed of numbers of both Deaf and Hearing adults.

Just read my earlier blogs about the adult Deaf in Hearing families that know no sign.

Anonymous said...


Who told Jodi that she is a bad Mom?

Anonymous said...

Boy, it's a rocky road for any parent, especially for those with kids approaching teen years. ;)

No matter what anybody tells you, you knew what was best for Jordan given the circumstances your family was in. That Luca of yours sets a wonderful example of a parent as well.

I have a sister who'd have given anything to have had a man who cared that much about his role as a father to his kids, she didn't have that kind of luck, whatever one calls it. And her kids are hearing. She had to do double duty parenting unfortunately. And her grown kids are just now realizing that their mom was there every time for them, even though there were times she seemed the ogre, it counted when the parent (their mother) was THERE for them, dishing discipline (not the most palatable duty there is) and having to make decisions for the children when they were not of age, aside. And where was HE, this father? Anywhere but around his own kids. Really sad.

Parental involvement is key to any child's success. Yes, mistakes in parenting abound, my mother often said, "Wait 'til you have your kids, then you'll understand how difficult the role of parenting's about what works for now, because does any parent really know about the future?" The future is an unknown factor.

With the parents he has, Jordan has a lot going for him, deaf or hearing.


Anonymous said...

Karen Mayes,

Who told your parents to sent you to CID? JOHN?

Anonymous said...

"Deaf son"
"Son who happens to be deaf"


Anonymous said...

I was diagnosed with a significant, progressive hearing loss at 3 years of age and not once did I ever question my parents' judgment about raising me orally. The only exposure I had to sign language was when I was in high school and my mother and I decided to take an ASL class together for fun.

I was mainstreamed from the get-go, the only child in my elementary school with hearing loss. I never felt like I was missing anything. I never wished that I could meet others with hearing loss. I was simply a kid with hearing aids, listening, speaking, learning, socializing, enjoying life like every other kid I knew. My hearing aids were to me what eyeglasses were to others, nothing more.

I'm sure there are thousands of others like me, who do not regret being raised with only oral communication skills. Many kids with cochlear implants are not being left out or left behind. They are excelling in academics, extra-curriculars and life in general. One only needs to read the blogs and websites online to hear first person accounts of happy, oral children, teens and adults.

According to, a mistake is an error in action, calculation, opinion, or judgment caused by poor reasoning, carelessness, insufficient knowledge, etc. Most families work hard to make good decisions for their kids. But what's good for one kid may not be good for another. I didn't need sign or deaf culture. Another kid in my situation might have been lost without it. It's a parent's right to make what they think is the best decision for their child. It is not the right of others to impose what they think is right on parents. Insisting that parents of deaf kids teach them sign language is akin to insisting parents agree to cochlear implant surgery for them. No one has the right to insist on anything for anyone else.

Anonymous, if you're going to point to research about cochlear implanted kids and sign language, please cite your sources and use your name. You are dispensing "insufficient knowledge" that could lead to a mistake. I am sure bilingualism is a great tool for some deaf people, but it is not a one size fits all remedy for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, Jodi, off the point.....I read Mephisto's Musings, "Archilles Heel." Please don't let this blogger get to you. This is the old news, nothing new. FYI.

Please make your day brighter, okay?

Hugs, White Ghost

Karen Mayes said...

I don't normally comment to the annoymous comments. Sorry ;o)

Unknown said...

Hi Everyone,
Hope you are having a great Sunday! Just got back from the in-laws and a huge eat in with homemade lasagna. Life could be worse.
I did not post this one because I feel like an inadequate mom, I was just reflecting on what John said about how Jordan would react when he was 21. My parents were not perfect (at all:)) but I always felt loved. We all go through growth phases and it's pretty shitty when they coincide with the period you're raising your children. I was thinking about that, more than the deaf aspect of whether or not I've made the "right" decisions.

I have been blessed to have married a man with a greater capacity to love than any other human being I've ever met. His parents have been married forever and are extremely generous people, he inherited that trait. He has been beside me every step of the way, supporting me and keeping me calm and balanced, which is no easy task, because I am a complete lunatic.:)) Jordan and Sofia are very lucky to have such a father, there are not many men who are able to deal with raising a child with a disability and all of the responsibilities associated. We have always worked together as a team, trying to do the best we can for our kids...and ourselves.

Debbie- I can picture you bouncing with your boy at that party- you are so funny! He is very lucky to have you, don't second guess yourself, although it's healthy to do so...I'm sure you have the most organized "house" in NY *smile*

John, I can appreciate what you've said and I am not at all offended by your comments- they are thought-provoking and respectful- thank you for that.

Ann- As you can see, I appreciate my husband and all of his traits- he is a sensitive, creative and intelligent person with a strong sense of family. Jordan and Sofia are very fortunate.

White Ghost- You kill me! lol
Karen- I'm glad that the post caused you to reflect on your personal experiences with your parents- that was the point...

Paula- I think I'll translate your response for the Italian blog, it could probably help a lot of people.

Val, Candy, Elizabeth, Anon and Dianrez...thank you for your comments.

Lucky- Luca will probably respond to your comment..for now I've put him to work translating! (what did he ever do to deserve me??lol)
Hugs to all,

Anonymous said...

I'm flattered... :) Read my "25 Random Things" on Facebook. I wrote it BEFORE I read this today. xo

Unknown said...


Anonymous said...

Hi Jodi! We ate lasagna at my mil's today too....I think we are living parallel lives.

Unknown said...

Hi Anne!!!!!!!!!
K bello vederti qui:)) Si, è proprio vero, stiamo vivendo delle vite parallele! Stasera ho avuto una voglia strepitosa di waffles, uova e syrup- cavolo che buono- morirei x un Sunshine Slam at Denny's!!! Tvb, Jodi

Karen Mayes said...


I understood "waffles" "parallel" "Sunshine Slam" and "Denny's" in your Italian comment.

Hey, I can read Italian!!

;o) just kidding.

Anonymous said...

First it is my right to remain anonymous as is it the right of many to make up blog names to keep their identity private. If this blogger didn't want anonymous posting then it should not be a choice in the comment section.

Ahhh.. So you had language before you became deaf or hard of hearing? You were three when you lost your hearing and therefore already had spoken language. That makes a big difference in your ability to continue with speech and be oral.

Why should parents gamble with exclusive oral only when they can provide their children with a natural and visual sign language that allows them to be bilingual in any written or spoken language? The spoken form can be learned If their child has the capacity for speech and motivation to want to speak. That can be part of the picture too. This is what is meant by bilingualism.

There are plenty of linguistically and culturally deprived Deaf people walking this earth today because of oral "only" approaches that were "chose" for them. Oral only has caused a lot of damage. Paula, you were a lucky one. You obviously had good parental support who helped advocate to keep your educational environment healthy for you. Unfortunately this is NOT the norm.

Isn't it time to be inclusive and embrace the whole child? Embrace their rights to be visually bilingual? What is your fear of sign languages? Why do you seem to show such great detest for sign language in your writing?

It is this fear that continues to allow deaf children to be deprived of ALL means to being fluency in language. It is sad that exclusive oral only people continue to divide deaf people from each other. There is no such thing as sign language only..People who use sign language also use the written language of their country and many times the spoken form as well.

Here are the research citings you requested.

(Now share with me your research that proves ALL deaf children can thrive in oral only environments.)

Early sign language acquisition sets a firm foundation for subsequent cognitive, social-emotional development and linguistic development.

Academic studies have shown high correlations between ASL comprehension and English reading abilities in school aged deaf children who have been exposed to sign language from birth. (Mayberry, 1989; Strong & Prinz, 1997; Hoffmester, 2000, Padden & Ramsey, 2000; Kuntze, 2004).

Studies indicate social and emotional advantages for deaf children raised in sign language environments, including measures of executive function and Theory of the Mind (i.e. the awareness of how mental states such as memories, beliefs, desires and intentions govern the behaviors of self and others (Baron-Cohen, 2000; Dye et al in press; Hauser, Lukomski, and Isquith, 2007; Schick 2007).

..."children who stop using their implants are rarely included in follow-up studies. As a result we have essentially no idea how the number of implant "stars" compare with the number of implant "failures". ....There is no real evidence that signing interferes with the development of spoken language after implantation (or at any other time), and, in fact, earlier use of sign language appears to provide cognitive and linguistic support for the acquisition of auditory language after cochlear implantation." Marschark, 2007.

Anonymous said...


Please see this post;

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, it is certainly your choice to remain "anonymous" just as it is my choice to choose a communication mode for my child or to be content with the one my parents chose for me. It is also my choice not to address comments such as yours since it is difficult to converse with an unknown person. I find it interesting that so many people who "push" deaf culture seem to hide behind anonymity online and the parents and adults who advocate or have some agreement with oral communication often use their names.

Christine, the last line in that post: "It assumes that adults have the innate ability to make rational and objective choices," is clearly incorrect. Adults have the right to make subjective choices, choices based on their own experiences, research, gut feelings and specifically, related to their individual child in the case of parental choices. Succintly put, my point is that children and adults are individuals, no one communication mode is best for all deaf and/or hard of hearing children.

I have nothing against sign language, total communication, cued speech or any other form of communication. I don't push oral communication on parents. I simply share my collective experiences as an oral deaf adult and a parent raising an oral deaf child. Unfortunately, many people feel that by doing so, I am anti-deaf culture or anti-sign language. It is their choice to believe that about me. It doesn't make it true. Just as it is not true that bilingualism is best for every deaf child or oral communication is best for every deaf child. People are entitled to think whatever they want and decide whatever they want.

Anonymous said...

I never said that you don't have a right to choose to be content with the decision your parents made for you. Just as many Deaf people have a right to say they are not content with the decisions "their" parents made for them due to information their parents received from the exclusive oral only or medically focused community who told them not to sign with their deaf children. It is such a shame that oral only people continue to perpetuate the myth to naive hearing parents that signing interferes with speech. Only when the child fails with speech, are they allowed to visual language. My question why is that gamble worth it? What is the fear of including ASL into the combination??? What is the fear in educating hearing parents about this??

Your comment "people who "push" deaf culture" is statement enough on how you feel about Deaf culture. Obviously you have some hidden anger attached to your statement.

What is the harm in respecting bilingualism? What is your fear of ASL?

People who use ASL in no way detest English or spoken language as they know it's value in their lives.

Billy Koch said...

Very nice post -

Everyone has their own opinions and are entitled to it. I, myself am deaf but I can speak well and I also communicate as well in ASL. Here is one thing I usually say, "Why is it okay to teach children English/Spanish or even HEARING children Spoken English and Sign Language" but it is not okay to teach children who have been implanted or even children who wear hearing aid. I'm just puzzled at that logic - makes no sense its almost like saying us deaf people do not have the ability to be bi-lingual. Point is being - expand the language because it helps the child learn so much more! :) I have three hearing children and I teach them all spoken English AND sign language. My oldest knows three languages now, English, Spanish, and Sign Language - :) Just open the doors for possibilities! :D

Anonymous said...

While the bilingual approach may work for some, unfortunately, it doesn't work for all, including people who hear normally. Mari Artinian who has normal hearing and has deaf parents clearly said in the film, Sound and Fury, that she had to take speech therapy because she didn't have enough exposure to spoken language when she was growing up. I met an interpreter a few years ago whose parents are deaf, and he told me that he had to take speech therapy when he was growing up because he had little exposure to spoken language too due to using sign language as his main mode of communication at home.

ASL is not a "magic" method, and it requires as much effort as using the Auditory-Verbal approach or Auditory-Oral approach because parents would need to take the time to attend courses to learn ASL and to use it at home. Unfortunately, there are some parents who are not involved by not attending ASL courses and using them at home with their children.

I personally think that the parents have the right to choose what is best for their children and their family. Auditory-Verbal was the right choice for me and my family because my family's primary mode of communication is spoken English which has enabled me to speak with all of my family members, including my extended family members. As everyone knows, I'm personally grateful for my parents' decision, and I have no regrets. I know several others who are in the same boat as I am.

Just let the parents do the research for themselves and make the educated decisions.

Unknown said...

The issue boils down to this:
Just as many Deaf people have a right to say they are not content with the decisions "their" parents made for them due to information their parents received from the exclusive oral only or medically focused community who told them not to sign with their deaf children.
...And that is my point. I am taking responsibility for my choices...perhaps part of the problem is that many people feel that their parents have not- I agree with the need for education. There must be resources available so that parents can make educated choice. But once the choice is made...take it easy on the parents...See MM's post...he says it better than I apparently am able to say it...Jodi

Anonymous said...

One thing for sure, parents are "damned if they do, damned if they don't" when it comes to so many things that the Deaf Culture looks at.

One example is the question to Luca about his choice of words-- "deaf son or son who happens to be deaf?" Well, really, do you think the semantics of the lengthier phrase are going to change anything? No. But what they really want to know is if you see him as "normal" or non-disabled. But, say you do-- then what happens? They criticize you for being unrealistic about their disability, failing to recognize their need, and what have you.

Oh, but if you DO see them as disabled, or use the word, as Jodi did, then you are criticized for not just seeing them as just your son. A normal kid. (In reality, I am absolutely positive that she sees him as a normal kid, no matter what wording is used).

See, it's an endless cycle. The same people who call themselves "people who happen to be deaf" will cry foul if anything appears slightly off to them related to their "rights." In other words, they rely on the ADA. Which, I might point out, means that one IS disabled.

I happen to be one who, though I love my child unconditionally, DO wish he had been born with hearing. I would feel the same way if he was born with spina bifida-- I would wish they could walk easily. If they were blind, I would wish that they could see. But you see, since my child was implanted and can hear nearly identically to most hearing children, I don't think about it much. BUT, my child has said a couple of times that he wishes he could hear without his CIs just to make things easier... no batteries, removing to bathe, etc. So why would I not wish that for him as well? He knows I love him absolutely-- but he also knows that just as I wish for a breast cancer cure, I also wish for a cure for deafness. Wishing the best for your children doesn't mean you love them any less.

Parents make mistakes; undoubtedly all parents end up with their kids finding fault with one or more things that they did. Some rightly, some not. But I think it will be the rare child who is implanted and appropriately cared for (learning to listen, wearing full time, mappings taken care of right, etc) who will regret that part of their childhood. More than likely they will find fault with some other disciplinary thing.

BTW, as Paula was suggesting, the research is not pointing toward sign language making a child develop better who has a CI. In fact, the opposite is true. And the thing is, deaf adults are no more capable or qualified to make judgments than any person off the street regarding this because the technology is SO vastly different from what was available 30 years ago. It just is. Deafness with cochlear implants is nothing like oral education without cochlear implants. There is not the struggle.

Probably the mistake most likely made by some parents today is more geared along the lines of either not implanting, or not grasping the capability of the implant early enough to make full use of it. Those are the kids who will be angry when they see the difference. Because being able to communicate easily with most people is nothing to sneeze at.

Anonymous said...

Rachel mentioned CODAs/KODAs having to take speech therapy, which has happened to a few hearing kids of deaf parents that I know. This is one example of where parents should go so far to make sure everything is covered for their child. I, like many other deaf/hoh parents I know have met with school personnel during our child's pre-school years, preferably around age 2 to 3 to make sure they're not lagging in speech. I wonder how many deaf/hoh parents even consider it? Fortunately none of my kids needed speech therapy. This might kill some people, but the reason why none of my kids needed speech is because both of their parents were subjected to speech as a deaf/hoh child, we spoke well enough that they didn't need any therapy. :) All parents should investigate everything to make sure their child's best interests comes first, whatever they might be. This is not just limited to deaf/hoh issues.

Anonymous said...

Just like hearing babies acquire spoken language, ASL is a language that is acquired naturally with ease for Deaf children. The only obstacle they have is their parents not being willing to learn it and expose them to other Deaf language role models and peers.

The time, energy, and money spent on implants and AVT is quite extensive and a lot of time out of a Deaf child's life is dedicated to pronouncing words only as a gamble to whether or not that child will be capable of acquiring language via that technology.

It takes very little effort to learn sign language, find a Deaf mentor, and embrace a Deaf child's visual language. It is sad to see parents worried about themselves more than their Deaf children.

Do you have research that proves that bilingualism does not work for All Deaf children? When has ASL and English bilingualism been effectively allowed to happen with all Deaf children? How do you know it won't work?

Deaf children can be fluent in ASL and English. How many Deaf people who were exposed to ASL from birth are now ASL failures? There are plenty of failures due to oral only approaches but they are brushed under the rug so only the poster children are exposed to the world.

How many implanted children will grow up and not be able to afford the maintenance of upkeep for the implant? What will happen to them?

What is the harm of including ASL into the equation. I don't understand your resistance to this?

Anonymous said...

Around the merry-go-round we go! At least the ride's a fun one.

Anonymous said...

While the cost of cochlear implants and to keep it up and the cost of AVT may seem expensive, it is actually a HUGE cost-saving for the society in the long run because for those children who have involved parents will not need interpreters on daily basis, something that is not cheap for the government to pay. There is a research study done by Dr. Niparko at Johns Hopkins that proves that cochlear implants is cost-effective for the society in the long run -

Also, from my personal experiences, I did not have to dedicate my time to learning how to pronounce the words, and that is absolutely NOT AVT. AVT is not about sitting at the table and learning how to pronounce the words. As many other AV parents and I have said, AV is a way of life. My therapy was simply having several conversations and playtime with my family and my therapists. You can see an example of an AV therapy here which shows a child having a great time with his therapist -

Anonymous, you may have personally experienced that learning sign language and find a Deaf mentor was not difficult for you, but I personally know others who had difficulties in learning sign language and finding a Deaf mentor. Some have told me that learning ASL is like learning a foreign language which means that it can take as many as YEARS to master the language.

Again, no method is easier or better than the other.

Anonymous said...

Also, I would watch this video clip -

26 of those deaf people in the film were successfully raised with Auditory-Verbal approach. All of them except for one have cochlear implants.

I would also visit many of the blogs on Deaf Village. Many of the bloggers on this site are parents of deaf children with cochlear implants, and their children are thriving successfully with the Auditory-Verbal or Auditory-Oral approach without the use of ASL or even with the total communication approach or even with cued speech approach!

Also, I would check out The CI Circle News - and the slideshow

All of these pediatric cochlear implant users come from a wide variety of background. Some are/were raised with AV or AO. Some are/were raised with the bilingual approach or with the TC approach. ALL are successful, regardless of the methodologies, thanks to our committed parents.

Anonymous said...

Time, money and effort, eh? What a shame that we waste that on kids. ;-P

Rachel is correct. AVT and implants in an appropriate, early timeframe are not only cheaper than other methods, but much faster. Kids are done even before preschool. By done, I mean they talk and hear like other kids their age. They go to school where other kids go, do as well as other kids, and need very little money from society to make this work.

Also, AVT is not about pronounciation. Rather, it is about learning to use the auditory pathways and hear how things sound and duplicate that sound in the normal context of the conversation. Whole language. Questions. Stories. Games. It's actually easy for kids who can hear at 20-25 db (which is pretty common for implanted kids).

There is study after study and even more coming out about what happens to the places in the brain which are designated for hearing... when those areas are used for a visual substitute. You can't go back, easily. Once you go there, you have redesignated those areas. If a parent truly wants their child to hear like other children, then the mistake is not in leaving out ASL, but rather in leaving out aggressive learning to listen. It takes such a brief number of months and it gives a lifetime of income earning potential and educational success.

Plus, ya wanna make the parents out to be the bad guys for "not learning sign." Since when was it easy to learn any language in 2 years? Or less? Because if you didn't learn it that fast-- that well-- you would stunt a baby's language development. Except for parents who already know ASL, it is an affront to those who know how complex it really is when you suggest that it would be simple for parents to pick it up. Why don't you learn to translate another new language while you are at this? If you can master it well enough to teach a toddler a full language, then you can come back and criticize parents. Until then-- go find someone else to blame for something.

Anonymous said...


The studies about how language is processed in the brain has not proven that ASL hinders spoken language. If you are going to quote them, then please cite your sources. Otherwise your statements are misleading.

Paula, Yes and the vicious cycle continues....... and you continue to keep reading which I am happy to see.

I am happy you are thriving in your home environment.

Your comment about bilingualism regarding those with normal hearing has nothing to do with Deaf children in hearing families. You are talking about CODAs. Children of Deaf Adults or KODAs Kids of Deaf Adults. I have known plenty and it is a rare case that a CODA needs speech therapy. Maybe they are part of the general population of hearing children that need general speech training and should be considered as part of that percentage and not a direct result of having a Deaf parent who does not speak.

I have never heard of a Deaf child that has grown up to fail in language acquisition who was raised in a true bi-bi home environment and educational program as a bilingual person, ASL and English. I certainly have heard plenty of stories of those who have struggled to be fluent in any language because oral only environments have failed them.

What I don't understand is why you continue to state that oral only saves money for society. First of all the support services for a Deaf student in the mainstream includes many services such as oral interpreters, cart systems, note takers, specially trained teachers, etc. They still rely on captioning for movies and t.v And they still must maintain their auditory equipment.

Are we concerned about society or about the person who is Deaf?

Do you realize how many children grow up and do not benefit from their oral only environments and are left for society to handle? This includes those with and without auditory technology. This is not because of bilingual approaches. This is because of failed oralism. The number of Deaf victims is overwhelming. Society is paying the price for exclusionary approaches.

ASL may require hearing parents to put a little effort in learning their child's visual language. But it requires no work for their Deaf child to acquire it visually if they are exposed to it via motivated parents who are learning it and fluent language models through Deaf mentorship. The home environment should be adaptable to the language and culture of a Deaf child and not always the opposite way around. The opinion that a hearing families' primary language is the only one that can be used in their home has cause many Deaf children years and years of isolation within their own families.

Deaf mentors are all around you. If a parent can search of surgeons, and struggle to get to AVT and AO, they can certainly find a Deaf mentor through their early intervention program. It is important for Deaf children to see others who are Deaf and not have to wait until they are adults to be exposed to Deaf people and peers who sign.
That is a shame

If a Deaf child is exposed to sign language at birth, they have immediate access to language. When babies are left without visual input while they wait for their implant or their mapping or their speech and listening programs....what language are they getting??? What happens later when the implant breaks down when it off? I guarantee they are using their visual senses.

What is the fear that a Deaf child may actually benefit from ASL or naturally leans towards their visual abilities?
Hearing parents do not have to become fluent overnight in ASL. It is a process well worth the effort. And their children can learn to read, write, and speak if they have that ability too. This is called bilingualism.

With all this being said, why in the world wouldn't ASL be "included" into the total equation so we can start to eliminate the chances of Deaf children becoming future victims of exclusive oral only approaches.

Anonymous said...


From reading your comments, I see that you're not aware of TODAY's generation of deaf children. We cannot compare deaf children who were born in the 90's and beyond and the ones who were born in the 70's and before. There is no comparison between hearing aids and cochlear implants. The older generation had a much more difficult time thriving in having the ability to hear and to speak because many could barely hear and understand what they were hearing with their hearing aids. Cochlear implants allow us to hear and to understand the words very well. I see that you're not willing to take the time to visit the sites that I have enclosed and read the stories written by today's generation of deaf people and/or our parents and see how we are all living today as cochlear implant users.

I'm sure that I have argued with you in the past on other blogs as your comments are no different from many other comments that I have read in the past. So, I'll just let you continue to spout out your asinine comments while the tides are turning; more and more deaf children are continuing to thrive in the hearing society by having the ability to hear the wonders of sounds, including vibrant music at concerts, and to speak, including in different foreign languages, and to communicate with the world at wide thanks to the extraordinary technology, cochlear implants, as long as our parents are willing to be committed.

Anonymous said...

1. Factors Influencing Spoken Language Outcomes in Children following Early Cochlear Implantation

Geers AE

M�ller AR (ed): Cochlear and Brainstem Implants. Adv Otorhinolaryngol. Basel, Karger, 2006, vol 64, pp 50-65 (DOI: 10.1159/000094644)

This is, of course, not the only study. I will post them as I dig them up. Geers has shown that spoken language results ARE dependent upon communication modes, particularly in the educational setting. Yes indeed-- oral communication does mean better spoken language.

I am sure some will complain that one should not have spoken language as the only goal; of course cognition-- understanding the speech-- is important. And that is why it makes so much sense in the educational setting where understanding the teachers and the curriculum (all written by hearing people) is so crucial. Life doesn't begin when one exits a special school for the deaf. It starts at birth.

If you can find a world where everyone uses ASL in school and in the workplace, then you can argue that ASL should be used for all deaf kids. Until then...

Anonymous said...

I'll have to weigh in on this.

For the life of me I don't see how anyone can say this or that approach is exactly the right thing for every d/Deaf child 100% of the time. Lord knows-- I didn't even raise my own three kids exactly the same way.

If you want to promote ASL, start a program that supports hearing parents. Reach out to hearing parents. Be open and positive. Make it as attractive and welcoming as possible. Keep loving them. Keep encouraging them no matter what choices they make. Stay positive.

Parents who have chosen the CI and AVT approach have done so because they felt it was the right fit for them and their child. It's as simple as that.

Ranting and anonymous criticism only serves to turn people off from Deaf culture and ASL.

MKChaikof said...


I read this post and all 40 comments for the first time today, and, as I got to each of your posts that I wanted to comment on, as I kept reading I found that Rachel had already said exactly what I wanted to say. I love that she is 21 years old and is speaking for herself. The standard line about kids regretting their parents' choices and resenting their parents when they hit 18, 21, etc. just doesn't does not hold water among the group of young adults whom I've watched grow up for years alongside Rachel.

That you are totally out of touch with and unaware of what life for CI kids is like today is evident in your statement:

"What I don't understand is why you continue to state that oral only saves money for society. First of all the support services for a Deaf student in the mainstream includes many services such as oral interpreters, cart systems, note takers, specially trained teachers, etc. They still rely on captioning for movies and t.v And they still must maintain their auditory equipment. "

The fact is that most of the CI kids I know today who have been taught spoken language via the A-V approach have minimal to no accommodations. My younger daughter uses a portable soundfield or personal FM. Total cost: $750 for the soundfield used year after year and $1600 for the FM, again used year after year. She requires no notetakers, no CART reporting, no captioning, not even for TV, no specialized teachers, etc. She hears so well that, as long as we optimized the auditory signal through the soundfield or FM, she requires no extra assistance. This is true of all the A-V CI kids her age, 14, and for those younger and older than she is as well. Rachel is in college. Her only accommodations during her three years so far at school: personal soundfield and remote CART for one class out of the 26 she's taken in college thus far.

What you don't get is that these kids HEAR. CIs enable them to hear much better than oral kids ever did in the pre-CI days. I don't know how many times Rachel and others have to tell you this same thing before you stop ignoring it. I think that you must be choosing to be in denial because you would lose your entire argument if you stopped denying the truth.

Anonymous said...

Some of the things said here are just assumptions. For example, what is factual is that hearing aids do work for many that do benefit from it. I used to laugh at the fact that audiologist have deaf kids with hardly any or no hearing, wear hearing aids. It should only be for kids with certain types of hearing loss. I have one and I use the phone all the time. I can understand strangers without any problems except for certain accents. I've never had people that didn't understand me. I'm sure there are many like me who have HA and use the phone.

And assumptions about ASL - that it takes years to learn it, is not factual. It varies with individuals. If one is very motivated, one could learn all he/she needs to learn within a year. Most deaf kids who never learn signs do not take ASL classes, they usually learn within a year, at least, by interacting with deaf kids at a deaf school. That is one misconception I'd like to clarify, again it all depends on the person. Like AVT, ASL can be learned by just communicating with a chld. The child will pick it up. Just ask any oral kids who were thrown into a deaf school with no knowledge of signs. I have never known of any ASL or sign language class, I may be wrong but to my knowledge, the deaf school I went to did not offer any ASL or sign language classes.

There are failures all the way around for both ASL-English and CI-speech/listening. Ergo, time and time again - no one socks fit all. We never see stories about ASL failures or CI failures from those that promote it, yet I know it exists. I've seen it. In the end, parents still have the fundamental right to decide and thats that.

By ASL failures, I probably should be clear on that. There is no proof that ASL or Bi-Bi does bring up English profiency. We need data that does not include kids with multiple disability or any type of learning disability. Like-wise, I have never seen any data that showcases C.I. failures, yet I know it exists. As for C.I. failures, I'm not talking about the processor not working etc or operations that did not heal or go well, I'm talking about long term expectations that did not come out the way it should as far as being able to listen and speak. That does not always work for every child either. What are the percentage rate? I do not know. But, as a parent and if I had a deaf child, I would be looking at data, both good and bad before I weight anything further.

Anonymous said...

2.Central auditory development in children with cochlear implants: clinical implications.
by: A Sharma, MF Dorman
Advances in oto-rhino-laryngology, Vol. 64 (2006), pp. 66-88.

A common finding in developmental neurobiology is that stimulation must be delivered to a sensory system within a narrow window of time (a sensitive period) during development in order for that sensory system to develop normally. Experiments with congenitally deaf children have allowed us to establish the existence and time limits of a sensitive period for the development of central auditory pathways in humans. Using the latency of cortical auditory evoked potentials (CAEPs) as a measure we have found that central auditory pathways are maximally plastic for a period of about 3.5 years. If the stimulation is delivered within that period CAEP latencies reach age-normal values within 3-6 months after stimulation. However, if stimulation is withheld for more than 7 years, CAEP latencies decrease significantly over a period of approximately 1 month following the onset of stimulation. They then remain constant or change very slowly over months or years. The lack of development of the central auditory system in congenitally deaf children implanted after 7 years is correlated with relatively poor development of speech and language skills [Geers, this vol, pp 50-65]. Animal models suggest that the primary auditory cortex may be functionally decoupled from higher order auditory cortex due to restricted development of inter- and intracortical connections in late-implanted children [Kral and Tillein, this vol, pp 89-108]. Another aspect of plasticity that works against late-implanted children is the reorganization of higher order cortex by other sensory modalities (e.g. vision). The hypothesis of decoupling of primary auditory cortex from higher order auditory cortex in children deprived of sound for a long time may explain the speech perception and oral language learning difficulties of children who receive an implant after the end of the sensitive period.

Anonymous said...

3. Nat Neurosci. 2001 Dec;4(12):1171-3.Click here to read Links
Visual stimuli activate auditory cortex in the deaf.
Finney EM, Fine I, Dobkins KR.

Psychology Department-0109, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093, USA.

Previous brain imaging studies have demonstrated responses to tactile and auditory stimuli in visual cortex of blind subjects, suggesting that removal of one sensory modality leads to neural reorganization of the remaining modalities. To investigate whether similar 'cross-modal' plasticity occurs in human auditory cortex, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure visually evoked activity in auditory areas of both early-deafened and hearing individuals. Here we find that deaf subjects exhibit activation in a region of the right auditory cortex, corresponding to Brodmann's areas 42 and 22, as well as in area 41 (primary auditory cortex), demonstrating that early deafness results in the processing of visual stimuli in auditory cortex.

Anonymous said...

4. Int J Audiol. 2007 Sep;46(9):479-93.
Unimodal and cross-modal plasticity in the 'deaf' auditory cortex.
Kral A.

Laboratory of Auditory Neuroscience, Department of Neurophysiology and Pathophysiology, University Clinics Hamburg-Eppendorf, University of Hamburg, Germany.

Congenital auditory deprivation leads to deficits in the auditory cortex. The present review focuses on central aspects of auditory deprivation: development, plasticity, corticocortical interactions, and cross-modal reorganization. We compile imaging data from human subjects, electroencephalographic data from cochlear implanted children, and animal research on congenital deafness. Behavioral, electroencephalographic, and imaging data in humans correspond well to data behavioral and neurophysiological data obtained from congenitally deaf cats. The available data indicate that auditory deprivation leads to 'decoupling' of the primary auditory cortex from cognitive modulation of higher-order auditory areas. Higher-order auditory areas undergo a strong cross-modal reorganization and take-over new functions. Due to these and other deficits of intrinsic microcircuitry, the cortical column can not integrate bottom-up and top-down influences in deaf auditory cortex. In the ultimate consequence perceptual learning is compromised, resulting in sensitive periods.

Anonymous said...

(One more-- of many studies which are available-- showing that you can't mess around with development, and that if you want a child to make use of auditory pathways, you need to get them active ASAP and not promote their takeover by visual stimuli. ASL in an implanted child whose parents choose for their child to hear/speak goes against what we know about cortical reorganization.)

5. Prog Brain Res. 2006;157:283-313.Links
Cochlear implants: cortical plasticity in congenital deprivation.
Kral A, Tillein J, Heid S, Klinke R, Hartmann R.

Laboratories of Auditory Neuroscience, Institute of Neurophysiology and Pathophysiology, University of Hamburg School of Medicine, Hamburg, Germany.

Congenital auditory deprivation (deafness) leads to a dysfunctional intrinsic cortical microcircuitry. This chapter reviews these deficits with a particular emphasis on layer-specific activity within the primary auditory cortex. Evidence for a delay in activation of supragranular layers and reduction in activity in infragranular layers is discussed. Such deficits indicate the incompetence of the primary auditory cortex to not only properly process thalamic input and generate output within the infragranular layers, but also incorporate top-down modulations from higher order auditory cortex into the processing within primary auditory cortex. Such deficits are the consequence of a misguided postnatal development. Maturation of primary auditory cortex in deaf animals shows evidence of a developmental delay and further alterations in gross synaptic currents, spread of activation, and morphology of local field potentials recorded at the cortical surface. Additionally, degenerative changes can be observed. When hearing is initiated early in life (e.g., by chronic cochlear-implant stimulation), many of these deficits are counterbalanced. However, plasticity of the auditory cortex decreases with increasing age, so that a sensitive period for plastic adaptation can be demonstrated within the second to sixth months of life in the deaf cat. Potential molecular mechanisms of the existence of sensitive period are discussed. Data from animal research may be compared to electroencephalographic data obtained from cochlear-implanted congenitally deaf children. After cochlear implantation in humans, three phases of plastic adaptation can be observed: a fast one, taking place within the first few weeks after implantation, showing no sensitive period; a slower one, taking place within the first months after implantation (a sensitive period up to 4 years of age); and possibly a third, and the longest one, related to increasing activation of higher order cortical areas.

David said...


I am not amused by your comment. I think it is time for you to know who is actually not aware.

Some children with CI have been switched to ASL/Bilingualism or dual program (ASL and oral) from strict AVT. They were cochlearized at the earliest age such as not even one year old. Some parents are not happy with the result. Some of them are under the age of 3 and some over the age of 3 depending on parents' slow or fast reaction.

Now you know who is not aware!

Bilingualism is not against anyting but provides natural development and safety net for Deaf babies and their parents. That is guarentee. IF parents want to add anything on the top of bilingualism, that is their choice. Removing bilingualism from Deaf children is also removing natural language from them.

Communication options are not inclusive choice but exclusive choice.


Unknown said...

I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to post the studies, I will read them as soon as I have a minute- been slammed!
Thank you so much,Jodi

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