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From:  Stuart Thiessen
Date:  Sun Sep 10, 2000  2:33 pm
Subject:  Re: CI's (OFF TOPIC)

Just a thought that occurred to me in passing. You may already do
this. Be careful not to express that "anger" around the child. It might
make the child wonder if there is something wrong with them. Whether the
decision was right or wrong, whether the parents should or should not have
done it, at this point, becomes irrelevant.

I got my CI when I was 18. I was ignorant of deaf community opinions
regarding the CI since I grew up oral with no contact with the deaf
community. My parents had no clue about the deaf community either. I made
the decision myself because to me it was no different than a hearing
aid. Just another assistive device since hearing aids could no longer help
me. What floored me was the largely negative response I got from deaf
people. Though they did not say anything directly to me, I did feel
ostracized as if I had violated some unwritten rule of deaf life. Rather
than seeing past the CI to me, they only saw a big CI. Lately, I have seen
improvement, but there are still "smouldering" attitudes on the part of some.

I do not believe the CI is for everyone. But there are some people I feel
could benefit and should not be judged for that choice. Whether we in the
deaf community like it or not, parents are responsible for the care of
their children and we need to support them no matter what their
decision. If they see the deaf community as rejecting them for their
decisions, then parents will not have a very high opinion of the deaf
community. If, however, they see support regardless, they may eventually
understand the reasons for using SL and SW. That way, we earn the right
and the respect of parents to communicate the pros and cons of CI, SL, and SW.

Just some thoughts on the whole CI issue ...

At 09:55 09/10/2000 -0400, you wrote:
>Ok, I've finished my bragging ha! I wish we could educate parents and
>Doctors concerning CI. It's a very sticky situation, and leaves many Deaf to
>tears. It isn't something we support. Parents of Deaf children always ask
>me how I feel about the CI, and it's hard not to have my opinion in the
>matter. I try to give the pro's and con's, but it's not easy to stay
>neutral. I'm supportive if it is a decision that an adult has made, but
>angry that a young child has it. Deaf feel that we are not "broken" and need
>to be "fixed." But I am happy that you have these two children in your class
>now, instead of them waiting until much later to use SL.

Stuart Thiessen
4616 Hickman
Des Moines, IA 50310
(515) 280-0005 Pager ()

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