Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Lay Off Miss Kat!
You should only know what a strong proponent of ASL Miss Kat's Mom is on the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Circle. She asks direct questions and always responds to mothers seeking assistance with regard to ASL. SHAME ON THE PERSON- AND I'M SURE IT WAS AN ANONYMOUS COMMENTER- WHO INSULTED HER!
Miss Kat's Mom has been through an extremely difficult period recently and has shared her experiences to enrich and assist other moms. Who needs the aggravation? Her blog "Wounded," a result of the emotional assault, produced this comment reaction:
That unfortunately does happen, it makes me think of two things.
The first being where I first went to NTID/RIT and I was made fun of because I was not able to sign at the time. But I overcame that and became a fluent signer and am now accepted in the deaf community.
Second, being more important, there is this hearing lady friend that I have been very close to since 7th grade. 13 years ago, she had a daughter and she could sense from the hospital staff that something was wrong. She got all nervous until the doctors told her that the problem with her baby was the fact that she was deaf and her response was "that's it? I can handle that". That was a result of our friendship so she was familiar with deafness and saw that it did not really hinder me from doing anything that anyone else could do, with the exception of relying on listening skills, which I did not have.
She then took the incentive to learn sign language and when I saw her about five years ago at our high school 20 year anniversary and she brought this adorable daughter that was about 8 years old at the time. They were signing to each other so beautifully and it was a great sight to see. I did not see her often as she lived in another state.
Well, I found out that she had relocated back to my state, but in a town about 70 miles away and about three weeks ago, she and I got together for lunch.
What was very astounding about this was that she had tremendously improved in her signing skills and was able to hold her own when communicating with a deaf co-worker that also joined us for lunch. She also told me that her daughter was outfitted with a CI a few years ago. Her daughter is now thirteen and I have not yet seen her but I will sometime soon.
But what she told me was that when she is with her hearing peers, she quite relies on her CI and is able to speak and listen to them.
Now this is the kicker that I LOVE!!!! When she is around her deaf peers, she actually turns off her CI and uses ASL in communicating with them. Now I was impressed with this!!!!!
But yet, there was a situation that happened a few minutes later that absolutely blew my mind away. This daughter actually called her on a cell phone and they were able to communicate rather easily. She was not using relay services, but her own cell phone as she was at the airport and she was letting her mom know that her plane had been delayed.
If she is 13 now, I would imagine that she was implanted when she was about ten. What was important was that this mother took the incentive to expose her daughter to both the spoken language and ASL and she worked so extensively with her daughter over the last three years to build up her listening skills using the CI.
I am planning on meeting her again within the next couple weeks but what I am looking forward to most of all, is actually meeting her cute adorable daughter!!!!!
These are constructive comments that serve a purpose. Hearing mothers raising deaf children have enough emotional baggage to deal with without adding ignorance to the equation.
If YOU are on a mission to promote ASL and "Save the Deaf Children of the World," segregating those with cis from those without- start by taking a good, long look in the mirror. YOU are not Miss Kat's Daughter. YOU are a product of YOUR parents and if they did something that pissed you off- YOU go sign to them. Explain and define DEAF to THEM...NOT to the hearing mom of a Deaf child who is raising her child with LOVE and COMPASSION.
Oh and by the way...
Deaf children can hear, speak...