Saturday, 19 February 2005

First post in DeafNotes

In this topic...

I’m new here. To introduce myself, I’m the father of a 2½ year old girl that got a CI last September. Her first mapping was in November.
I’ve read a lot about the subject as one does when deafness suddenly comes in a life. Having no relatives being deaf, not knowing deaf people the travel to the deaf world that our daughter was going to be part of was and is an exciting one. Meeting deaf and hard of hearing people has been and is a wonderful experience.
We (my wife and I) started immediately with sign-language even though our daughter was only 1½ y.o. Also the other two kids (5 and 7) were participating and like sign a lot. (They were surprised that their sister didn’t reply when they spoke her language..)

Sometimes on these message boards it seems like an attack and defend-game. This is natural when two worlds look from their own perspective and have their own specific information sources. I do not know what it’s like to be deaf. A deaf person does not know what it like to hear, or lose hearing for that matter. This doesn’t mean we are not entitled to our opinions.
I want to react to some of the things said, showing another opinion, some other point of view.
One thing that was said was: (by Sweetmind)

That's why I am so against CI because I feel that many people thinks they have the right to do with their children who are very innocent. They have to live with it but not the parents or many people who think they are doing the right thing but NOT.

This argument is often found in pro-deaf literature. I would totally agree when the choice is between deaf or severely hard of hearing. Having an operation and then still not being able to hear, having to lip-read and using sign is not the way to go. This might have been the situation 10 years ago but today children with CI can be fully integrated in deaf and hearing society.
However, regarding operating on very young children: 3 things have to be understood. Learning of communication, of languages is ideally done between 1 and 4 years of age. This is when the brain creates all its contacts.
Another thing is that a hearing-nerve that has not been stimulated for a number of years will lose it’s ability to function.
So, for children it is important to be operated as soon as possible. Waiting for the child to be able to make it’s own decision will take 15 years. Speech will be very difficult to learn.
Also, my daughter’s family is all hearing. They would all like to use sign but for her grandparents to learn sign is a really huge task. The same for all our friends. Ideally they would be speaking sign but practically this is not done.
Of course they can give lot’s of love in other ways, communication is limited.
Is it fair to withhold this from a child by not operating?

Another thing I would like to comment on (by DaytonCN) is:
I am scard to have such a huge surgery.
It used to be a huge surgery and when you look on the net you would see kids with flaps of skin being pulled back and huge bandages. Not any more.
My daughter was operated on both sides in 1 operation. She woke up after 1½ hours and was annoyed by the drip going in her foot (for fluids). She started making puzzles and looking at images. Felt a bit sick, threw up, got 1 aspirin and started eating. This all in the first 3 hours. Then we couldn’t hold her any more and she started to use the tricycle to go about in the hospital.
The thing is, it was a huge surgery 10 years ago, 5 years ago. Now it’s microsurgery. Her scar is 7cm long (2½ inches). She wore plasters, no bandage.

Another comment on the following: (also by DaytonCN)
One thing to remember is that CI doesn't cure hearing loss. If the CI is not on you will hear nothing. In my opinion it is nothing more than a sugeral hearing aid. The only reason I am thinking about getting it is because of my type of hearing loss. The sound from the CI is not the same as natural hearing. It is not going to "cure" me or any other deaf person.
CI doesn’t cure anything, you’re right. CI provides a way of perceiving sound. It’s not a cure. Regarding the “sound”, I have seen a video of a 50 year old man who had lost it’s hearing for 5 years before getting a CI. Even though the sounds were strange at the beginning, he got his hearing-“image” back again. This means that he recognized his wives voice. Birds sound as he remembered etc. The brain is a powerful organ. Blind people will still see the persons faces that they knew before they became blind (they will just not get older, these faces) People that become deaf and learn to read lips will still hear the voice. I read about a man that heard his brother talk to him until the brother put his hand in front of his face. Then the sound stopped!! The brain remembers a lot.

I’ll leave it at these comments for now.
I do want to say the following.
Get your information from both sides. Both cultures are valuable, both cultures are beautiful. Make sure you get updated information. Books written 5 years ago regarding deaf culture are still valid and wonderful to read. Books written 5 years ago regarding CI are out of date.

Of people who say nothing, few are silent.

No comments:

(Some) Milestones

  • 2013-08: Grade 6
  • 2012-08: Grade 5
  • 2011-08: Grade 4
  • 2011-03: BTE's on the ear
  • 2010-08: Grade 3
  • 2009-08: Grade 2
  • 2008-08: Mainstream School (6y. old)
  • 2006-10: All-hearing Kindergarten (4y. old)
  • 2004-11-22: CI activated (27 m. old)
  • 2004-10-04: Bi-lateral CI (26 m. old)
  • 2003-08: Deaf/HOH/CI Pre-school/"DEAF" Kindergarten (12m. old)
  • 2003-07: HA's fitted (11 m. old)
  • 2003-06: Diagnosed deaf. Start sign-language (10m. old)
  • 2002-11: Suspicion loss of hearing (4 m. old)
  • 2002-08: Born - A fierce LION
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