EDUDEAF: Sibling Deafness

Keywords: Deaf Education Information, Deafness Related Issues, Deaf Culture and History

Document 1 of 6

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Date: Thu, 14 Nov 1996 15:34:28 -0500
Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Subject: Sibling deafness
To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

Hi! My name is Jennifer Waxman and I'm a deaf education major at Kent State University. Like one of my fellow students, Jessica Soltesz, I am required to do an I-Search paper for one of my classes. I would appreciate any information from those of you out there who consider themselves experts in the field.

I was always under the assumption that the majority of incidents of deafness was related to things like illness,etc. However, lately on Edudeaf and in my practicum I have noticed that many deaf children seem to have siblings that are also deaf. I was wondering: 1) Is deafness more of a hereditary issue than I had previously believed? 2)If this is true, why?

I appreciate any help you can give me. Although I have been silent until now, I have enjoyed reading my Edudeaf messages.

Document 2 of 6

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Date: Thu, 14 Nov 1996 16:06:52 EST
Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Subject: Re: Sibling deafness
To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

According to http://www.gallaudet.edu/~cadsweb/factshee.html, heredity is the leading cause of hearing impairment at birth (13%). Other known causes total 34.5% of the surveyed population of "children and youth, so it seems that the cause is unknown in a lot of cases.

Gerald Sacks

Document 3 of 6

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Date: Thu, 14 Nov 1996 17:00:23 -0500
Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Subject: Re: Sibling deafness
To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

Hi Jennifer. I am a teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. I have 2 deaf sons, and my youngest is hearing. There is no deafness in either side of the family, however it appears that our sons' deafness is hereditary. I was a teacher of the deaf before I had our children, yes they are my birth children, weird huh?. I am not familiar with the statistics of the causes of deafness, but if you would like to use me as a reference feel free to contact me on AOL, the name is JSupy. Good luck.

Document 4 of 6

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Date: Thu, 14 Nov 1996 16:47:48 -0600
Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Subject: Re: Sibling deafness
To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

I suspect that it is a matter of awareness and epidemiology. In earlier times it was not uncommon for pregnant women to contract rubella ("German measles") during the first trimester. As we know now, one of the complications of rubella during that time-frame is deafness. By the mid-70's a vaccine was available, and physicians also routinely tested pregnant women for their immune status. As a result, women no longer get rubella (because they are vaccinated as babies themselves, and again at age 5 or so). This has resulted in a smaller percent of deaf kids having disease as the cause, and thus a larger percent having genetic causes. The rubella "bulge" finished high school a number of years ago.
Candy Krepel - mother of 1 of the 50% "etiology unknown"

Document 5 of 6

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Date: Thu, 14 Nov 1996 23:00:15 -0800
Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Subject: Re: Sibling deafness
To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

>As a result, women no longer get rubella (because they are vaccinated as babies themselves, and again at age 5 or so).

Candy, Unfortunately this is not totally accurate women still do get rubella, I contracted Rubella in 1991 at the age of 20 while I was pregnant with my son. He is deaf due to contracting Rubella in the 1st trimester. So please don't tell me women no longer get Rubella, granted it is rare but it does happen.

Anna Wilson

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Date: Sat, 16 Nov 1996 21:40:50 -0800
Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education
Subject: Re: Sibling deafness
To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

Jennifer,

The cause of deafness can be either environmental or hereditary. By environmental I mean assaults on the ear by bacteria, viruses, ototoxic drugs, loud sounds, etc. Hereditary deafness can be from a dominant or recessive gene mechanism. Boys Town is the "official" organization for gathering and interpreting data about hereditary deafness. They have a WWW site which will pop up on any search engine.

Jay

Uploaded by: Jodi Gray/KSU Deaf Education Major