Don’t change your plans for education, discipline, communication or socialization. What you would do is change how you would approach those avenues when you meet your child for the first time, deaf.
A common theme touted by the people in the oral education profession is “Doing Deaf Differently”. The problem with this is that doing deaf is still no different from what is real. The excuse is cochlear implants.
Being deaf differently is embracing your child’s deaf as a part of it – not ignoring or denying it. By embracing the whole and while in process, not making it the ultimate aspect of the child. Incorporate the deaf in the child, keep the child WHOLE.
Do not pick or choose which is primary – deaf or the perception of ‘hearing’. When a choice is made either way, it severely limits the WHOLE child. What many do not realize is that what you do to a child at the age of 2 or 7 will have a lasting impression as an adult. The limits will severely limit the child from becoming a WHOLE adult.
Do not limit yourself to short-term goals or achievements. Life is a journey. By creating limits without going with your instincts will produce an environment of reduced self-esteem, poor language skills and inadequate communication/socialization skills. A child does not live to be a child forever. Allowing the deaf aspect to be ultimate or ignoring the deaf aspect will shunt the child even as he/she grows to become an adult.
Give your child EVERYTHING you can. Remember that the illusion of a child to be like you is the disillusion of reality. The ability to naturally grow with nature and/or nurture will be limited on the glorification of ‘deaf’. Embrace the child.
A parent of a deaf or hard of hearing child will face the extreme ends of language acquisition and educational method arguments. Ever rarely will they hear the real stories of those who are smack dab in the middle. One side celebrates with false stories while the other side lives in an oppressed reality. They TELL you what is right or wrong.
There is no right or wrong answer, only answers that fit your child, your family and you the best. The answer for you may not be the right answer for your child or your family. A child’s journey needs not be limited to one method. When the child grows up provided with everything, he/she will choose the paths that open for them. They will take what they have learned and make choices – sometimes not wise but if we cannot let the children learn, how can they be successful adults? Limiting the child to one way of life is limiting the opportunities and potential for access to resources which will fit the person they will become.
Expect the unexpected and still prepare for the lifetime of those who are involved to be impacted by your child you are raising. Do not lose your dreams, challenge them and find resources and tools to enhance; not limit the potential.
Everything IS a choice, an option. This is your child; whether he/she is deaf, male/female, blonde, brown-eyed, music lover, a tree hugger or so on. This little kid is ultimately a child and in the long run, an adult. You will be overwhelmed. You will go through dark periods in life – what human does not?
A person who is Deaf is unique to the gift they bring to life, yet they are not unique. Why? They are ultimately human.
Technology is not a miracle. The reality of technology is that they are and function similar to a human body. Like the human body, technology ages, gets upgrades, fails and lasts only a lifetime. Technology is just a tool, not the ultimate solution or a miracle. It is never a full answer to an issue.
As the misconception shared with the world, “doing deaf differently” is not ignoring the deaf, but embracing it, making it a part of a WHOLE. Not denying its existence, like those who prefer the oral method.
Life is chaos. Everything we go through; its ups and downs, the good and the bad. Life is a journey, it is not meant to be limited. How many opportunities will a parent miss because of the limitations placed on the child? Limitations to the child is not the only aspect, when limits are placed, the parents, family members and the community is equally limited, even with the best resources. One cannot deny a part of the whole which they are. When the denial of a part of whole happens, the sense of identity “wanderlust” takes place. The concept of self is less explicit.
Embrace the world. Do not ever hide your child. They are a gift within ourselves to remind us of a childhood we outgrew. Even as parents, we are reminded of the freedom to do what one wants to do in the perception of education, socialization and communication. Life is an education, a gift. Do not limit life with one option – give EVERYTHING, share EVERYTHING.
Be unlimited in life. Be responsible. Be REAL! Do not be blinded by illusions. Get everything. Life is a responsibility. There is no right or wrong answer, only everything which you get and share.