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Unread 10-29-2011, 01:15 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by CSign View Post
I realize that's what people may think, but do we have any cold hard facts about how many parents choose to sign with their children as opposed to those who go the Oral route?

I wonder if the gap is as large as people think...
Yep. We have plenty of cold hard facts regarding the choices parents here have made, through their own admissions. Add to that the reports from the deaf individuals here regarding the environment they were raised and educated in, and we have all the information we need to make the observation DS made.
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Unread 10-29-2011, 01:19 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Yep. We have plenty of cold hard facts regarding the choices parents here have made, through their own admissions. Add to that the reports from the deaf individuals here regarding the environment they were raised and educated in, and we have all the information we need to make the observation DS made.
Exactly.
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Unread 10-29-2011, 01:19 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Speculating on their thought process is all I can do, as my parents get tight-lipped and emotional if I ask them out of curiosity. I have a theory on my family, however. My grandparents immigrated (or emigrated?) to Detroit in the 30s/40s, and for the Italians, it was considered a source of pride and sign of success to learn English and assimilate fully into American culture. So perhaps pushing audism on me was repeating the family's pathology of pro-assimilation - on top of the usual audism propaganda?

Getting really deep here for a Saturday afternoon, hah! Anyways, I've really enjoyed meeting all of you - this has been an eye-opening experience.
Cultural attitudes most definately had an impact on your parents' thinking and decision making. Very insightful of you to realize that.

Most parents will get tight lipped when questioned about these things. Generally, it is because they feel (mistakenly) that they are being judged and criticized, or it is somehow implying that they did not love their child. It prevents the open kind of communication, however, that could have a huge impact in reducing audism. Parents really, truly need to get over their reactional defensiveness.
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Unread 10-29-2011, 01:21 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Hah! I must've bungled that phrase - a play on "it's all french to me," meaning I couldn't hear a word of what my guests were speaking so they might as well have been speaking in french? Sorry for confusing you.

Yes, DH is hearing. Our plan is to take classes together, he wants us to wait until I find a job. Being a one income family right now is a drain on our finances, so he works late many nights. I'd like to get my parents to learn as well, but my mom just signed up for Italian classes. I think my parents would rather stay in denial than learn ASL. Love them, but they tend to be snobs.

Any opinions or experiences on in-person classes versus online learning?
Hi Abbie, like you I grew up oral and mainstreamed and was considered the spokesmodel for oralism in my town - was often paraded out. Academically I did well...but grew up very lonely and angry. It's a different story now, I've put the past behind me and am now a much happier person.

And now I'm learning ASL and have to say that the real life classes are far more beneficial and educational than online courses. You learn much more in the classroom and the real world interaction of signing with others is a huge benefit. I hope you and DH will take a class!

Welcome to AD.
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Unread 10-29-2011, 01:45 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Cultural attitudes most definately had an impact on your parents' thinking and decision making. Very insightful of you to realize that.

Most parents will get tight lipped when questioned about these things. Generally, it is because they feel (mistakenly) that they are being judged and criticized, or it is somehow implying that they did not love their child. It prevents the open kind of communication, however, that could have a huge impact in reducing audism. Parents really, truly need to get over their reactional defensiveness.
Even beyond the hearing parents-deaf child dynamic, the impact on hearing siblings must be considered as well. My older sister, well, that's a whole other can of worms. Her feelings towards our upbringing wavers between fierce protectionism for me or bitter resentment towards me. My sister was a helpless bystander, and carries a heavy grudge. She moved far away, and regularly sees a therapist for emotional anxiety and inability to maintain relationships. My heart breaks for her.
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Unread 10-29-2011, 01:56 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Abby Nicole View Post
Even beyond the hearing parents-deaf child dynamic, the impact on hearing siblings must be considered as well. My older sister, well, that's a whole other can of worms. Her feelings towards our upbringing wavers between fierce protectionism for me or bitter resentment towards me. My sister was a helpless bystander, and carries a heavy grudge. She moved far away, and regularly sees a therapist for emotional anxiety and inability to maintain relationships. My heart breaks for her.
Good point. AFAICT, my brother and sister also have difficulties trusting people. They both have/had trouble (one did, one still does) establishing long term intimate relationships.

Also, AFAICT, this has not been an issue for my cousins. None of my cousins have HH siblings and our parents seem to be similar in many ways. So I do chalk this up to the side effects of forcing an oral only approach on HH children who have a significant loss.
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Unread 10-29-2011, 01:59 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Hi Abbie, like you I grew up oral and mainstreamed and was considered the spokesmodel for oralism in my town - was often paraded out. Academically I did well...but grew up very lonely and angry. It's a different story now, I've put the past behind me and am now a much happier person.

And now I'm learning ASL and have to say that the real life classes are far more beneficial and educational than online courses. You learn much more in the classroom and the real world interaction of signing with others is a huge benefit. I hope you and DH will take a class!

Welcome to AD.
You and I are two peas in a pod. Did you feel self-conscious and silly when people paraded you around? I used to think, "Sheesh, so I got straight A's, so did half of the class??? No need to shout it from the mountaintops."

Too funny on being the spokesperson! In middle school, I was asked to speak with hearing parents to answer questions about what oral life would be like for their deaf babies. So proud of myself, I was, I bragged about how normal I was and told all sorts of polly anna-ish stories (lies), ugh. Who knows what kind of impact I had on those parent's decisions - their poor kids. *shudders*
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Unread 10-29-2011, 02:05 PM   #38 (permalink)
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You and I are two peas in a pod. Did you feel self-conscious and silly when people paraded you around? I used to think, "Sheesh, so I got straight A's, so did half of the class??? No need to shout it from the mountaintops."

Too funny on being the spokesperson! In middle school, I was asked to speak with hearing parents to answer questions about what oral life would be like for their deaf babies. So proud of myself, I was, I bragged about how normal I was and told all sorts of polly anna-ish stories (lies), ugh. Who knows what kind of impact I had on those parent's decisions - their poor kids. *shudders*
you were a product of your circumstances. At least now you can move forward making choices that feel right for you. It's obviously not your fault that you were placed in an Oral environment. The past is the past, and you have control of your destiny. Don't beat yourself up about it.
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Unread 10-29-2011, 02:34 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Even beyond the hearing parents-deaf child dynamic, the impact on hearing siblings must be considered as well. My older sister, well, that's a whole other can of worms. Her feelings towards our upbringing wavers between fierce protectionism for me or bitter resentment towards me. My sister was a helpless bystander, and carries a heavy grudge. She moved far away, and regularly sees a therapist for emotional anxiety and inability to maintain relationships. My heart breaks for her.
Oh, absolutely true. The impact on siblings cannot be discounted. I applaud your sister for taking time out to try and sort through the issues. With help, I have no doubt that she will come to understand that she neither needs to protect you or resent you.
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Unread 10-29-2011, 02:36 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Good point. AFAICT, my brother and sister also have difficulties trusting people. They both have/had trouble (one did, one still does) establishing long term intimate relationships.

Also, AFAICT, this has not been an issue for my cousins. None of my cousins have HH siblings and our parents seem to be similar in many ways. So I do chalk this up to the side effects of forcing an oral only approach on HH children who have a significant loss.
You see, the message that is communicated to the deaf/hoh child is picked up by the hearing sibs as well. They also learn that who they are is just not quite good enough, and to carry a false front to protect themselves.
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Unread 10-29-2011, 02:47 PM   #41 (permalink)
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You can't just say the past is the past. Abby and Caroline need their experiences and feelings validated. That means listening and accepting them without judging or feeling like you have to fix them. They have to grieve the profound loses before they can move on. They have to acknowledge how their experience has hurt them and continues to raise significant emotional issues. The Deaf/HOH community needs to support them while they heal. They will move ahead at their own pace. They must be in control of their healing process and their decisions now.
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Unread 10-29-2011, 03:15 PM   #42 (permalink)
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You can't just say the past is the past. Abby and Caroline need their experiences and feelings validated. That means listening and accepting them without judging or feeling like you have to fix them. They have to grieve the profound loses before they can move on. They have to acknowledge how their experience has hurt them and continues to raise significant emotional issues. The Deaf/HOH community needs to support them while they heal. They will move ahead at their own pace. They must be in control of their healing process and their decisions now.
Well said.
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Unread 10-29-2011, 03:52 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Speculating on their thought process is all I can do, as my parents get tight-lipped and emotional if I ask them out of curiosity. I have a theory on my family, however. My grandparents immigrated (or emigrated?) to Detroit in the 30s/40s, and for the Italians, it was considered a source of pride and sign of success to learn English and assimilate fully into American culture. So perhaps pushing audism on me was repeating the family's pathology of pro-assimilation - on top of the usual audism propaganda?
I think this is a very astute speculation :-). What I think all parenting choices comes down to is one simple fact - we make decisions based on our knowledge and experience at the time believing it is what is best to help ensure our childrens' happiness and success. If, down the road, it comes to light that any decision or choice was wrong, it is human nature to feel guilt and heartbreak about these failings - and that is often expressed by defensiveness. Discussing failings as a parent can be THE most difficult thing to do. Choices made were made out of love and discussing wrong choices in the past equates (in some parents' minds) to saying a parent loved you 'wrong' all those years. That is where the guilt and heartbreak steps in and shows up in defensiveness and silence.

All deep thoughts aside ;-), congrats on the wedding and best wishes for a successful toe-dipping into ASL. :-)
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Unread 10-29-2011, 03:54 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Wow, all of your posts are very thought-provoking.

I have a feeling once we unshackle ourselves from the past, only then can we really move forward in a positive direction. I wish for my family to stop ignoring the elephant in the room, and allow open dialogue so that we might find clarity and peace in one another. The emotional scars are not healing because they are continually ignored or perpetuated in our family's dysfunction.

Hey AD, as a disclaimer, I'm not all doom and gloom - this thread has given me a lot to reflect on. Not gonna be that token debbie downer on every thread, lol.
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Unread 10-29-2011, 04:11 PM   #45 (permalink)
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We're here to help each other. Meanwhile, we'll have a little fun.
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Unread 10-29-2011, 04:17 PM   #46 (permalink)
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You can't just say the past is the past. Abby and Caroline need their experiences and feelings validated. That means listening and accepting them without judging or feeling like you have to fix them. They have to grieve the profound loses before they can move on. They have to acknowledge how their experience has hurt them and continues to raise significant emotional issues. The Deaf/HOH community needs to support them while they heal. They will move ahead at their own pace. They must be in control of their healing process and their decisions now.
Was this comment directed at me, because it sure seems that way. I'm not sure why you think I or anyone else is trying to "fix" them, there is nothing to be fixed. I can say the past is the past- in no way am I invalidating her experience. I was trying to offer words of support and encouragement that she is in control now- she holds the key to her destiny. I realize that their history is deep, and it takes time to come to terms with these things.

Last edited by CSign; 10-30-2011 at 12:27 AM. Reason: Typo
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Unread 10-29-2011, 04:17 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Don't get me wrong, I agree with you - ignoring or avoiding problems does not stop dysfunction nor help heal and move forward away from it. My thoughts were just reflecting on the reasons why it can be so difficult and why the 'child' is often ready for these discussions long before the 'parent' is open to them.

And I certainly have not felt you have been a debbie downer on this thread by any means ... more of a forthright francis lol and that is always appreciated because that is how good conversation starts ;-).
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Unread 10-29-2011, 04:19 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Wow, all of your posts are very thought-provoking.

I have a feeling once we unshackle ourselves from the past, only then can we really move forward in a positive direction. I wish for my family to stop ignoring the elephant in the room, and allow open dialogue so that we might find clarity and peace in one another. The emotional scars are not healing because they are continually ignored or perpetuated in our family's dysfunction.

Hey AD, as a disclaimer, I'm not all doom and gloom - this thread has given me a lot to reflect on. Not gonna be that token debbie downer on every thread, lol.
You can heal the scars and find the peace for yourself whether your family ever gets to the point of being able to engage in productive discourse or not. All it takes is an understanding community that will support you and validate you. You have found that, for the most part, here.
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Unread 10-29-2011, 04:21 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Was this comment directed at me, because it sure seems that way. I'm not sure why you think I or anyone else is trying to "fix" them, there is nothing to be fixed. I can say the past is the past- on no way am I invalidating her experience. I was trying to offer words of support and encouragement that she is in control now- she holds the key to her destiny. I realize that their history is deep, and it takes time to come to terms with these things.
No, none of this is about you. It is about the poster that started the thread. Let's keep it that way. This is her journey.

While she may hold the key, there are others still holding the lock for her. They are interfering with her being able to use the key. That is why she needs the understanding and validation from those who can empathize completely with what she shares.
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Unread 10-29-2011, 04:29 PM   #50 (permalink)
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No, none of this is about you. It is about the poster that started the thread. Let's keep it that way. This is her journey.

While she may hold the key, there are others still holding the lock for her. They are interfering with her being able to use the key. That is why she needs the understanding and validation from those who can empathize completely with what she shares.
Oh, ok. Thank you for clearing that up for me
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Unread 10-29-2011, 04:30 PM   #51 (permalink)
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Csign, I had a very traumatic childhood and there are some things that I'll never get over. I've had a lot of therapy and a long healing journey. My explanation is intended to help Abby and Caroline and make all of us mindful of how we can help. It breaks my heart when I have to tell my husband that I'm still struggling with certain feelings, but I have to be honest. If we don't share our thoughts, we will struggle alone and not heal.

I don't know why you're so defensive. If haven't had any trauma and haven't struggled with mental illness, you are fortunate and I'm happy for you. Let the rest of us say what we need to say.
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Unread 10-29-2011, 04:37 PM   #52 (permalink)
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Csign, I had a very traumatic childhood and there are some things that I'll never get over. I've had a lot of therapy and a long healing journey. My explanation is intended to help Abby and Caroline and make all of us mindful of how we can help. It breaks my heart when I have to tell my husband that I'm still struggling with certain feelings, but I have to be honest. If we don't share our thoughts, we will struggle alone and not heal.

I don't know why you're so defensive. If haven't had any trauma and haven't struggled with mental illness, you are fortunate and I'm happy for you. Let the rest of us say what we need to say.
I get it Sallylou... My comment about the past wasn't intended to mean that the past doesn't matter. I fully grasp how our experiences as we grow shape our perception of ourselves and the world. I think it's a good thing for you guys to share your experiences,reflect on things, provide support etc.

My comment was not to invalidate, but to provide words of support and encouragement for the future. Abby- if you perceived that differently than intended, my apologies.
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Last edited by CSign; 10-30-2011 at 12:29 AM. Reason: Typo: vreflect changed to reflect
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Unread 10-29-2011, 04:46 PM   #53 (permalink)
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Thank you for clarifying, Csign. This topic is hard and we're limited in the way we can communicate on this forum. Jill can explain this better than I can. I'm trying to ask for what I need and to support others in similar situations. You'd think that asking for what you need would be simple, but not all of us learned to do that growing up.
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Unread 10-29-2011, 04:55 PM   #54 (permalink)
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I get it Sallylou... My comment about the past wasn't intended to mean that the past doesn't matter. I fully grasp how our experiences as we grow shape our perception of ourselves and the world. I think it's a good thing for you guys to share your experiences,vreflect on things, provide support etc.

My comment was not to invalidate, but to provide words of support and encouragement for the future. Abby- if you perceived that differently than intended, my apologies.
No need to apologize, I understand your message and joining AD is intentionally my first step away from the past and towards a brighter future. Discussing my past with all of you has been cathartic because your empathy and sharing similar stories reinforces that I did not just imagine all of it, it wasn't a childish overreaction.
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Unread 10-29-2011, 04:56 PM   #55 (permalink)
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Thank you for clarifying, Csign. This topic is hard and we're limited in the way we can communicate on this forum. Jill can explain this better than I can. I'm trying to ask for what I need and to support others in similar situations. You'd think that asking for what you need would be simple, but not all of us learned to do that growing up.
The thing is, unless you address the person from where they are, rather than where you peceive them to be, comments will be perceived as invalidation. Advise is not what is needed. Being understood is. Advise comes across as paternalistic and minimizing. People just need to know that someone understands what they are saying, because that is an experience that is so rare for them. The past doesn't really need to be abandoned. It is a part of us. It simply needs to perhaps be re-framed and accepted for what it is.
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Unread 10-29-2011, 08:34 PM   #56 (permalink)
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Thank you, that brought tears to my eyes. The AG Bell award epitomizes my life, I was praised and congratulated on how well I concealed being deaf. It took years to figure out why that award and organization had an unsettling effect on me.
And yet you never even had the advantage of say going off to CID/Clarke/St. Joseph's. Although oral only sucks, the kids who got to attend CID/Clarke/St. Josephs and other oral deaf schools were the lucky ones. The thing is that oral only is very pro assimluation and " Oh the hearing world is the best thing in the world! They do not and cannot understand the negative
downsides of oral only and mainstreaming.
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Unread 10-29-2011, 08:46 PM   #57 (permalink)
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People just need to know that someone understands what they are saying, because that is an experience that is so rare for them.
That is correct. Telling someone to move forward doesn't show understanding. It's the opposite. Someone feels uncomfortable with the sad feelings and it seems like the sad person is being silenced. The reaction of the sad person is to shut down. A better response would be "gee, you had a hard childhood and I hope that you find peace with it because you deserve better."
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Unread 10-29-2011, 09:43 PM   #58 (permalink)
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Thank you, that brought tears to my eyes. The AG Bell award epitomizes my life, I was praised and congratulated on how well I concealed being deaf. It took years to figure out why that award and organization had an unsettling effect on me.
Oh wow..you and Deafbajagal are pratically twins!


Also, I was paraded by AGbell as an oral success as well (didnt win any awards) but did also suffer the consequences of trying to be "hearing".

Now, I am a happy woman who has Deaf culture and ASL in her life.

to AD!
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Unread 10-29-2011, 09:46 PM   #59 (permalink)
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You see, the message that is communicated to the deaf/hoh child is picked up by the hearing sibs as well. They also learn that who they are is just not quite good enough, and to carry a false front to protect themselves.
And boy, did I play that game as well growing up!
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Unread 10-30-2011, 12:08 AM   #60 (permalink)
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Speculating on their thought process is all I can do, as my parents get tight-lipped and emotional if I ask them out of curiosity. I have a theory on my family, however. My grandparents immigrated (or emigrated?) to Detroit in the 30s/40s, and for the Italians, it was considered a source of pride and sign of success to learn English and assimilate fully into American culture. So perhaps pushing audism on me was repeating the family's pathology of pro-assimilation - on top of the usual audism propaganda?

Getting really deep here for a Saturday afternoon, hah! Anyways, I've really enjoyed meeting all of you - this has been an eye-opening experience.
I grew up in Detroit and there were many Italians in my neighborhood.
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