Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Deafness and Eating Disorders- Related?


She pauses, purse in hand, and looks at me. “If you were in my shoes, you’d do the same thing. If these were the cards you’d drawn, you’d play them. You would.” She grabs a scarf and waves me out the door, past her cane. Tony loudly yells good-bye. While she hails a cab on the corner, I tell her about a poll that says Americans are more afraid of blindness than of AIDS, cancer, and heart attacks. She looks dumbstruck. “Cancer? For real? I don’t get that. Really, it’s not that bad.”

Amazing philosophy and way of taking on the world. After reading the article, Going Deaf and Blind in a City of Noise and Lights, another thing struck me and I have a question.

Are eating disorders common in children with hearing loss?

See, we have a very young friend who is Deaf and who wears hearing aids. His family is currently dealing with anorexia on top of his deafness. It would seem to me the two would be related based on control issues, but I'm no doctor. Does anyone have any similar experiences with such a thing? If so, how was the situation treated?

4 comments:

Debbie said...

Just catching up on things. Anorexia is a control issue. I am sending that family good vibes to get through this. How hard for them.

Marcie told me about Jon last night and I my heart is so sad. "Sloppy" was the best and I have nothing but wonderful memories of him and Tommy (Day) -- all hanging out in the parking lot at Pikesville. He lived by my Aunt and Uncle and the Abraham's -- so I saw him a lot. I also became friendly with his brother, Mark my freshman year. My condolences to his family.

I'm also sorry to hear about Uncle Joe.

Dianrez said...

Thinking back to my school years, I can remember only two students having eating disorders out of a student body of about 300.

That was in a residential school for the deaf. One fit the picture of anorexia; the other had a pattern of emotionally caused vomiting. On the other hand, there were no obvious eating disorders seen during my college years.

It seems not that closely associated with deafness, just based on personal observation. However, since they may be rooted in family control issues, so meaningful communication and emotional support would be the concern.

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't know if there's any real evidence of a corelation between deafness and anorexia, but I did know of one deaf girl (in the hearing clinic where I learned speech) who controlled what she ate, and thinking back on it, my guess it was HER way of getting back at parents who controlled the way she communicated, high expectations on speech and nothing else. Parents didn't see the "whole child" approach unfortunately.


I mean, this was when we were 5 to 7 year old kids, and I know this is early for anorexia, but food was the one thing she COULD control, never mind her parents. That's my take on it.

Ann_C

Jodi Cutler Del Dottore said...

Thank you for your comments, I kind of really wanted to receive some for this one, because I think Ann was right-
I mean, this was when we were 5 to 7 year old kids, and I know this is early for anorexia, but food was the one thing she COULD control, never mind her parents. That's my take on it.

This is why there needs to be a mix between speech therapy and being a healthy active child. You can't sacrifice one for the other.
Jodi