The chapter talks about Deaf children born into families, either with parents that are Deaf or hearing. It gives an understanding of what its like to both Deaf and hearing parents in contrast. Starting with a Deaf baby been born to Deaf parents, most Deaf parents have this incredible happiness for having to give birth to a Deaf child because a Deaf baby in a Deaf household signifies that the Deaf heritage of the family will be secure and who are a reflection of themselves. The extra challenges these Deaf families face have a simple remedy, which is to give extra nurturing. Sometimes Deaf parents are influenced by the values and instructions of hearing professional people who see the arrival of a Deaf child a regrettable event, and one that will require professional intervention. Some parents may adopt the hearing professionals’ perspective, especially since the specialists’ education and status seem to give their views special credibility.
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By this, it can be threatening, in some cases the stigma that the Deaf are incapable, unintelligent or viewed negatively, social workers seek to remove children from Deaf families. This challenge for the parents comes from well-baby check-ups, when bringing the baby to the Doctor they arrive enthusiastic, cohesive, and full of positive thoughts about their Deaf child, they are most likely to encounter a perspective that, while caring, is also concerned, implying to negativity. There’s a simple remedy these parents use to keep a lid on these challenges, which is to, ignore them.
Now, a Deaf baby born to hearing parents is different, their reactions its often the opposite of how Deaf parents would react. To hearing parents, at first, interactions with the baby seem normal, as the baby would present its natural responses, such as, cooing, babbling, and visual dynamics. As the child gets a little older, but still before a year old he starts to show signs of unresponsiveness or no speech and the mother is the first to notice and worry. By a mothers intuition and the close bond to the child she knows something is wrong and seeks help. But trying to convince others of this concern becomes doubtful, even by the Doctors. When the mothers take the baby in and lets them know her concern, they in turn can’t find anything wrong with the baby.
Although the mother suspects there is something wrong, the baby still has some normal responses, so others have a hard time to see there is a problem. also they are not as closely bounded to the child as the mother is. Finally, when its determined their child is Deaf, the hearing parents are devastated. Because they have no knowledge of the Deaf-World or ASL, and Deaf culture, they turn to clinical professionals and these clinicians always push for the parents of Deaf children to get hearing aids, put them in speech therapy, and so forth. They want them to do all these things for the child that are not included in the Deaf-World. Parents who follow these instructions often run into more problems, so it doesn’t get better it gets worse. Sometimes advice to hearing parents is not all one sided, and they get introduced to the Deaf-World as a better option.
I love that Deaf parents don’t worry if their child is Deaf, I find it as an unconditional love and that’s a special quality to have, not much people do. I also recognized that a Deaf child born to Deaf parents and their interactions of raising the child is normal and the child can grow up normal even though they are Deaf, they have this way that they somehow obtain resilience. Do you know how they obtain this resilience? I don’t like how these happily Deaf parents and their happy child have to be reminded about the concerns of being Deaf. Some people are happy they should be left that way.
I noticed the clinical approaches mentioned about getting hearing aids and speech therapy, which most often don’t work and cost a pretty penny. I don’t like that some of these doctors who recommend this or instruct this especially to hearing parents since they are so vulnerable. Only, to face more devastation from following these instructions. Clearly, this is the wrong approach. People need to be more educated, and if you are going to be a parent expect the unexpected and educate yourself, be skeptical with all and believe and seek a better way.