Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Paula and McConnell: Just Like Old Times!
I've locked myself in my bedroom to blog and suffer from the flu in peace as six kids run rampid in my house and the dumb-ass dog chews Sofia's shoes. There is no rest for the weary in this house. Anyway, the post Parents Always Make Mistakes has generated a bit of activity on the blogosphere motivating Paula to come out of hibernation...and guess who came to debate?? That's right Mike McConnell- read 'em here:
Yer darn right, Paula. Parents have the right to decide what's best. But what's different today than 15, 20, 30 or 50 years ago is that it is easier to become more informed and make an informed decision. I'm like you, I don't regret the decision my parents had to make on raising me strictly on aural and oral communication skills. However, the decision back then would be entirely different nowadays with the internet and better access and communication. And many are learning that (depending on hearing loss amount and type of aid, cochlear or hearing aid used) that early intervention is the best prevention and make use of the brain's plasticity. It's basically either you use it or lose it.
It's not a myth but a proven scientific fact that cannot be denied whatsoever. It's amazing when you go on YouTube and see all those young kids with cochlear implants do so extremely well on listening and speaking. You wouldn't even know they're deaf. Though the option is there to use signing method (not necessarily ASL) as part of the visual communication aspect. However you look at it parents will have to make that hard decision that will follow that child for the rest of his/her life for the better or worse.
mcconnell | Homepage | 02.03.09 - 4:35 pm | #
Hey Mike, Thanks for chiming in. You're right, the Internet has definitely aided in disseminating information to parents (and others) at crucial decision-making times. My daughter is one of those kids who has such great speech and articulation that you'd never guess that she is deaf. Her oral education coupled with hearing aids and later, cochlear implants has enabled her to speak well, hear easily and even identify lyrics in noisy restaurants (something I could never do). We are thankful for the technology and have never regretted our decision.
I don't wholly agree with your last comment about parents' decisions following their children around for the rest of their life. In fact, I have seen many families start with ASL and then transition to oral, I have also seen families start out oral and add ASL. Parents' decisions are not set in stone and can and should be modified based on how the child is doing.
Paula Rosenthal | Homepage | 02.03.09 - 5:23 pm | #
*Note: I have placed this statement in bold because for some reason everyone always comes down on Paula as being anti-ASL- I never understood that*
Any parents that make a decision for their child does have an impact and does make the child for who he/she is for the time being. My mother made a decision for me and I'm the shining but positive example of that decision. Her decision back then has had an impact on me to this day while growing up. When I say "follow" I didn't mean in a negative way about the resulting effects of that decision. It does make you for who you are today along with your own decisions as a mature teen or adult that further mold you as you are. Supposed my mother instead put me in an all-deaf school with sign language and not an aural and oral intensive schooling program I'm sure I wouldn't be the person I am today. Certainly not educationally. Thank god for her decision. That decision has made the difference in who I am today. So, yes, I do believe a parents' decision does make a life long impact on a child which is probably a better wording there.
I also loved my friend Debbie's comment - she's a bad-ass in NYC that led to MM's poignant post:
I am always shocked to hear others comments on parenting -- be it deaf, CP, autism, blind, etc. If you tell a parent of a typically developing kid (I speak as a Mom raising a little girl with global developmental delays, CP, hypotonia, g-tube fed, suctioning, non-ambulatory, non-verbal, upcoming strabismus surgery, tubes in both ears)what they've done wrong -- you will not hear the end of it. They will say (maybe not to your face) "HOW DARE YOU". Why is it with such complicated lives and decisions -- with no "Guide to Your Special Needs Kid" do people feel even more entitled to give their two cents regarding their judgement of how to raise your child?!?
I am not part of the deaf community, but have learned a lot from Amelia's service coordinator who works for Clark School here in NYC, one of the big CI schools and through my friendship with you,Jodi. I have sat on the sidelines and watched the back and forth "To CI, or not to CI" and it makes my head spin.
Chocolate and Vanilla people...whatever works for you.
For centuries, parents have strived for one thing: to "do right" by their kids -- and no one has a right to question that unless it puts that child in danger, physically or emotionally. That my friends, is a parents' virtue.*AMEN, SISTER*