EDUDEAF: Why am I Deaf?

Key Words: Deaf Education Information, Deafness Related Issues, Deaf Culture and History

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Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 11:34:28 -0500
Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Subject: Why am I Deaf?
To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

In a class I was teaching at Lamar a discussion focused on what should parents say if a child asks them "why am I deaf?" I would like to write an article on this topic for either the Communicator or a journal. Can some of your pleaase respond and tell me what you tell children. Please indicate if you are a parent or teacher or...? I will not use any names in the article.

so.... Why am I deaf?

Thanks to everyone in advance

Document 2 of 3

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Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 15:42:01 EST
Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Subject: Re: Why am I Deaf?
To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

I answer that differently with each child. In my opinion, there's no ONE reason why a child is deaf. If I do know the cause of deafness I discuss this with the child. Often they had meningitis as a toddler. Others experienced other medical conditions.

I often suggest children discuss this with their parents as well.

For those who are born deaf it may be hereditary or genetics. In those situations I sincerely believe parents need to be involved in those kinds of discussions.

Are you looking for more philosophical answers as to WHY IS THERE DEAFNESS?

Cathy

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Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 15:53:16 -0500
Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Subject: Re: Why am I Deaf?
To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

We told Alex early on that his right ear was dead...with his personality, if we'd have said broken, he'd have hounded us constantly to fix it! Well, when he was about 5-1/2 he wanted to know why it was broken and we told him that when he was a baby, bad germies had gone into his ear and killed the good parts in there that let it hear. (We ignored the ototoxic drugs they gave him in NICU) We told him that those germies also tried to kill his left ear and that they hurt it but he could still hear alot because the germies could not kill it. As he gets older we can talk about viruses and their impact...right now, germies was enough.

I would suggest consulting with the parents if you intend to offer an explanation, because I'd be really irritated if a teacher undertook to explain to my child why they became deaf without consulting with me to find out how I want to teach him.....ex., do I want to explain it scientifically, religiously, ignore it, etc.

Hope this helps,
Linda S
(Parent)

Uploaded by: Jessica Soltesz/Kent State University/Deaf Education Major