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Unread 05-27-2008, 05:59 PM   #1
Celticty
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Thumbs up Feelings on how a Deaf child should be taught

There are many different thoughts on how a Deaf child should be taught. Either they should be taught how to speak in order to fit in to a hearing world or else they should be taught ASL because it is easier for them to learn and communicate. I wanted to ask everyone on here how they feel about the matter. It would be great to find out in order to learn and grow as a hearing person and have the knowledge that I will gain here in order to help better educate the rest of the hearing people, to help cut out stereotypes.

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Unread 05-27-2008, 06:26 PM   #2
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It doesn't have to be an either/or proposition. Teach both. Preferably in a Bi-Bi atmosphere.
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Unread 05-27-2008, 09:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Celticty View Post
There are many different thoughts on how a Deaf child should be taught. Either they should be taught how to speak in order to fit in to a hearing world or else they should be taught ASL because it is easier for them to learn and communicate. I wanted to ask everyone on here how they feel about the matter. It would be great to find out in order to learn and grow as a hearing person and have the knowledge that I will gain here in order to help better educate the rest of the hearing people, to help cut out stereotypes.

I was taught oral. Mainstream in the dark ages. I speak. Few understand. I don't fit in. I think I am an anti oral oralist?
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Unread 05-27-2008, 09:36 PM   #4
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BiBi
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Unread 05-28-2008, 02:25 AM   #5
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It doesn't have to be an either/or proposition. Teach both. Preferably in a Bi-Bi atmosphere.
Indeed. Speech is useful. ASL is also useful. If it is possible to learn both, then I think that is great. We just need to get rid of the stigmas against people who are not able to speak or understand speech...

I personally am fine with not being able to speak English, since I can't understand it, I can't learn to speak it very well. I can say a few small words, but to me they are 'mechanical sounds' that I incidentally learned to make, (the proper mouth position and how much air to push through, how it feels in my throat and mouth, etc.) They probably sound nothing like 'normal' speech, but I know they are 'passable' because most of the time they work.... the only problem I have with it would be problems that other people create.
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Unread 05-28-2008, 06:00 PM   #6
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It doesn't have to be an either/or proposition. Teach both. Preferably in a Bi-Bi atmosphere.
Do you know if it is hard to find schools that teach Bi Bi? I don't have any children yet but this is information that is always handy to have.
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Unread 05-28-2008, 06:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jenni-m View Post
Indeed. Speech is useful. ASL is also useful. If it is possible to learn both, then I think that is great. We just need to get rid of the stigmas against people who are not able to speak or understand speech...

I personally am fine with not being able to speak English, since I can't understand it, I can't learn to speak it very well. I can say a few small words, but to me they are 'mechanical sounds' that I incidentally learned to make, (the proper mouth position and how much air to push through, how it feels in my throat and mouth, etc.) They probably sound nothing like 'normal' speech, but I know they are 'passable' because most of the time they work.... the only problem I have with it would be problems that other people create.

I really hope that all of the stigmas can be removed from society. But that would be very hard to do because there are alot of stubborn people out there. That is why I am trying to learn as much as I can and help remove alot of them.
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Unread 05-28-2008, 06:05 PM   #8
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Do you know if it is hard to find schools that teach Bi Bi? I don't have any children yet but this is information that is always handy to have.
Have you tried this one, Celticty? DeafWeb Washington: CSCDHH GA Newsletter - June 1996
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Unread 05-28-2008, 06:55 PM   #9
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Have you tried this one, Celticty? DeafWeb Washington: CSCDHH GA Newsletter - June 1996
, I am going to have to save that. Just one more thing to add to my knowledge banks in my head.
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Unread 05-28-2008, 07:29 PM   #10
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Mod's Note:

Moving this thread to it's proper location (Deaf Education Forum)
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Unread 05-28-2008, 07:31 PM   #11
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Do you know if it is hard to find schools that teach Bi Bi? I don't have any children yet but this is information that is always handy to have.
Yes, it is, because Bi-Bi is a concept just beginning to take hold. But there are good programs out there.
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Unread 05-28-2008, 07:34 PM   #12
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IMO, Bilingual-Bicultural Education (known as Bi-Bi) is the way to go because the more chances the deaf children have, the more better they will be able to learn and to process informations to be able to excel theirselves.

If they want to speak and to sign at the same time, that is fine too. It helps them get through in the between of both worlds. It may make things easier on them but that isn't always the case for every child.
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Unread 05-28-2008, 09:04 PM   #13
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thats right what they said. *shrug*
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Unread 05-28-2008, 09:28 PM   #14
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Don't look at the methods. Look at the child. What does THE CHILD need? There you will find your answer of what method to use.

The needs of each child is unique. What works for one child may not work for another.
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Unread 05-28-2008, 09:31 PM   #15
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Don't look at the methods. Look at the child. What does THE CHILD need? There you will find your answer of what method to use.

The needs of each child is unique. What works for one child may not work for another.
How do we really know? It looked like the oral only approach worked for me. I passed my classes and got into a major university didn't I? What was seriously overlooked was my socio-emotional needs and usually that aspects is badly ignored. As long as the child is passing the classes and developing literacy skills, all is well, right?

Just playing Devil's advocate...smile,.
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Unread 05-28-2008, 09:59 PM   #16
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How do we really know? It looked like the oral only approach worked for me. I passed my classes and got into a major university didn't I? What was seriously overlooked was my socio-emotional needs and usually that aspects is badly ignored. As long as the child is passing the classes and developing literacy skills, all is well, right?

Just playing Devil's advocate...smile,.
We know base on assessments, assessments, assessments. And when we talk about the child, we should look at the whole child - not just the academics. Same here- I had a 4.0 when I dropped out of high school. Academically I did great- but I was lost. The school failed to meet ALL of my needs.

Aren't you supposed to be getting ready for a hot date right now? LOL. Typical teacher. That's why we're twins!
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Unread 05-29-2008, 12:27 PM   #17
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We know base on assessments, assessments, assessments. And when we talk about the child, we should look at the whole child - not just the academics. Same here- I had a 4.0 when I dropped out of high school. Academically I did great- but I was lost. The school failed to meet ALL of my needs.

Aren't you supposed to be getting ready for a hot date right now? LOL. Typical teacher. That's why we're twins!
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How do we really know? It looked like the oral only approach worked for me. I passed my classes and got into a major university didn't I? What was seriously overlooked was my socio-emotional needs and usually that aspects is badly ignored. As long as the child is passing the classes and developing literacy skills, all is well, right?

Just playing Devil's advocate...smile,.
This makes sense, thank you. Any tips on being able to tell on the emotional? Everyone is helping me to understand this more. Honestly this is one thing I have thought about alot and you are all helping me. I appreciate it. Keep the information flowing.
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Unread 05-29-2008, 04:31 PM   #18
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Just got home from my SASL class (South African Sign Language), in our lesson we were having a debate about Sign/ English (or other language, remember we have 11 official languages here and each group is fighting for education in their mother tongue)/TC - which I think is the equivilent of your Bi-Bi. TC stands for total communication, and most of our Deaf teachers are totally against it. Their position is that Deaf students should be taught by Deaf teachers and in SASL, not by hearing people - even if they ase fluent in SASL.

I must admit that TC for me is as difficult as trying to speak English and French at the same time, but maybe that's just me!

What do you think?
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Unread 05-29-2008, 04:45 PM   #19
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Just got home from my SASL class (South African Sign Language), in our lesson we were having a debate about Sign/ English (or other language, remember we have 11 official languages here and each group is fighting for education in their mother tongue)/TC - which I think is the equivilent of your Bi-Bi. TC stands for total communication, and most of our Deaf teachers are totally against it. Their position is that Deaf students should be taught by Deaf teachers and in SASL, not by hearing people - even if they ase fluent in SASL.

I must admit that TC for me is as difficult as trying to speak English and French at the same time, but maybe that's just me!

What do you think?
I would think it would be as hard. But anything is possible. I just want to make sure that I will make the right decisions or help those people make the right decisions.
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Unread 05-29-2008, 05:27 PM   #20
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I would think it would be as hard. But anything is possible. I just want to make sure that I will make the right decisions or help those people make the right decisions.
Good point.
We also have situation here that Sign is seen as inferior because it is not spoken - left over influence of Dutch/British who, historically, disapproved of Sign. Unlike ex-Belgian/French colonies where Sign was "tolerated", if not universally accepted. There is a possibility that Sign will be accepted as our 12th official language, and be included in our constitution - which obviously has huge implications for the education department.
So SASL is not just about a practical way of getting through daily life, it is also a political stance in much the same way that Gay pride was a stance in your country.
In this situation I feel like a fortune-teller looking into a crystal ball and guessing which route might be the best for most people in the immediate future.
Thanks for reply!
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Unread 05-29-2008, 05:45 PM   #21
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Good point.
We also have situation here that Sign is seen as inferior because it is not spoken - left over influence of Dutch/British who, historically, disapproved of Sign. Unlike ex-Belgian/French colonies where Sign was "tolerated", if not universally accepted. There is a possibility that Sign will be accepted as our 12th official language, and be included in our constitution - which obviously has huge implications for the education department.
So SASL is not just about a practical way of getting through daily life, it is also a political stance in much the same way that Gay pride was a stance in your country.
In this situation I feel like a fortune-teller looking into a crystal ball and guessing which route might be the best for most people in the immediate future.
Thanks for reply!

They already started on the steps here on it being another language because I am getting a Foreign language credit. So steps are being made.
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Unread 05-29-2008, 05:53 PM   #22
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They already started on the steps here on it being another language because I am getting a Foreign language credit. So steps are being made.
WOW! Good for you! I am also studying Linguistics and the department won't accept Sign as my alternate language of choice - Yet!
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Unread 05-29-2008, 05:58 PM   #23
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WOW! Good for you! I am also studying Linguistics and the department won't accept Sign as my alternate language of choice - Yet!
Well that is the key word right there "Yet" Because I believe they will one day.
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Unread 05-30-2008, 04:00 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by mandy View Post
Just got home from my SASL class (South African Sign Language), in our lesson we were having a debate about Sign/ English (or other language, remember we have 11 official languages here and each group is fighting for education in their mother tongue)/TC - which I think is the equivilent of your Bi-Bi. TC stands for total communication, and most of our Deaf teachers are totally against it. Their position is that Deaf students should be taught by Deaf teachers and in SASL, not by hearing people - even if they ase fluent in SASL.

I must admit that TC for me is as difficult as trying to speak English and French at the same time, but maybe that's just me!

What do you think?
In the United States, we have Total Communication as well as BI-BI - both are different. Total Communication means that the teacher uses all kinds of ways to communicate with the child (American Sign Language, English-based sign language (which reflects the spoken language), pictures, with and without voicing; Sim-Com (signing and speaking at the same time); gestures; writing, etc.). Bi-Bi means that the teacher uses two different languages in the classroom: American Sign Language and English (sign language, voice or without voice, and written). My personal opinion as a Deaf teacher of the Deaf - TC is not very effective because it can be confusing for the students and there is not really one strong consistent communication method for the students. They also really don't get a strong foundation in at least one language. As for the comment about deaf teachers as oppose to hearing teachers - some people feel the same way (I don't). Some deaf people feel that having a NATIVE language user teaching the children the language serves them best.
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Unread 05-30-2008, 04:03 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by mandy View Post
Just got home from my SASL class (South African Sign Language), in our lesson we were having a debate about Sign/ English (or other language, remember we have 11 official languages here and each group is fighting for education in their mother tongue)/TC - which I think is the equivilent of your Bi-Bi. TC stands for total communication, and most of our Deaf teachers are totally against it. Their position is that Deaf students should be taught by Deaf teachers and in SASL, not by hearing people - even if they ase fluent in SASL.

I must admit that TC for me is as difficult as trying to speak English and French at the same time, but maybe that's just me!

What do you think?
I'm curious - when you say 11 other official languages in South Africa - did you mean sign languages or spoken languages?
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Unread 05-30-2008, 04:11 AM   #26
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This makes sense, thank you. Any tips on being able to tell on the emotional? Everyone is helping me to understand this more. Honestly this is one thing I have thought about alot and you are all helping me. I appreciate it. Keep the information flowing.
What I mean is that even though as a student I was making good grades, the school failed to look at my communication and social needs. I would go to school for weeks at a time without really ever talking to one single person. No one at my school could fully communicate with me in sign language. I never understood what was going on (school events, annoucements on the intercom, what the kids were saying, what my teacher was saying, etc.) And they never considered HOW I was able to maintain such good grades - I had to spend extra hours (and hours and hours) just to keep my head above the water. I was very dedicated to being a good student...but I finally had a breakdown and was exhausted. I would spend my weekends trying to study so that I could keep up with what was being done in classes...when I should have been able to be a teenager and hung out with friends like everybody else. I was very isolated. I could quote Shakespeare like crazy, read at the college-level, passed my standardized scores with high marks, my GPA as at the top of the class, etc...but I didn't know how to order food from a restaurant. I didn't know how to carry on a normal conversation. I didn't even know the names of my teachers or the kids that I saw every single day. So that's what I mean when I say - look at the whole child.
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Unread 05-30-2008, 09:00 AM   #27
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Great description!

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What I mean is that even though as a student I was making good grades, the school failed to look at my communication and social needs. I would go to school for weeks at a time without really ever talking to one single person. No one at my school could fully communicate with me in sign language. I never understood what was going on (school events, annoucements on the intercom, what the kids were saying, what my teacher was saying, etc.) And they never considered HOW I was able to maintain such good grades - I had to spend extra hours (and hours and hours) just to keep my head above the water. I was very dedicated to being a good student...but I finally had a breakdown and was exhausted. I would spend my weekends trying to study so that I could keep up with what was being done in classes...when I should have been able to be a teenager and hung out with friends like everybody else. I was very isolated. I could quote Shakespeare like crazy, read at the college-level, passed my standardized scores with high marks, my GPA as at the top of the class, etc...but I didn't know how to order food from a restaurant. I didn't know how to carry on a normal conversation. I didn't even know the names of my teachers or the kids that I saw every single day. So that's what I mean when I say - look at the whole child.
You did a great job painting the picture of how you felt--thanks for the descriptive scene! Using that scene, and trying to put myself in my daughter's shoes, I would say that HER scene is a bit different. As far as her grades, that has been quite a roller coaster experience--in the early grades, she did fine and the grading system was less stringent, then later she seemed to just "get by" with low Cs(and had to watch so many kids around her receive awards when she did not), and this year(in a deaf/hofh program) she made As and Bs and was on the honor roll(she was SO proud!). There wasn't really a "lack of communication"--for the most part, she communicated quite well with everyone through the years("oral success"--she seems able to communicate her thoughts and feelings just fine to the "hearing world") and she heard much of what was said to her(although there is ALWAYS something missed when in groups and when lots of people are talking). She wore an FM system in most educational settings--with the teachers' voices directly in her ear, she says that she heard most of it. Still, hearing the words and truly understanding everything that they said are two different things. She could repeat back many things word-for-word with near-perfect diction and syntax, but sometimes she just didn't really "get" the concept that was trying to be conveyed through those words. At that point, her grades were "okay"--she was "getting it" just enough to pass, but missing a lot, too(and the things she missed brought her grades down).

In social situations such as lunch and p.e., things didn't always go so well for her. At times, she had a friend or two to sit with in lunch--they would sit close and talk some but the noise of the lunchroom mostly meant that they would eat and "people watch." Often, my daughter said that she would sit alone at lunch--"no one wanted to sit with me" she would say(OUCH!--that hurts!). In p.e., things often went wrong--apparently she must have had several instances when she didn't fully understand what she was suppose to do, and she must have had some embarrassing situations when she didn't "follow directions"--often, she begged to get out of her p.e. classes because she "didn't want people to laugh at her." Once again, OUCH!! Through the years, she had several acquaintances, but not many real friends--socially, she was sometimes teased, but mostly she was ignored and left out. She rarely was invited to parties or sleepovers, and we saw many groups of girls hanging out and having fun, totally oblivious to my daughter as they passed by her. OUCH, OUCH, OUCH!! This lack of social inclusion really adds up through the years. I found myself often wanting to "find her a best friend"--but this never really worked out as planned. She has to make her own friends, I cannot pick them for her--and I cannot MAKE other kids be friends with mine. Once she was old enough to begin understanding what was going on around her socially, she started expressing her desire to go to school with other kids like herself--oral deaf. Even though she IS "oral" and loves being "oral" and has no desire to not be "oral", she just calls herself "deaf". To her, "deaf" means what SHE thinks it means--people very much like her who wear hearing aids and talk to each other. She IS beginning to see the sign language aspect, and she wants to learn it so that she can communicate with other deaf people who may not talk, but she says that she REALLY wants to be friends with some girls "just like her." She says that she could write notes with someone if they couldn't talk to her, but she really wants a friend that "wears hearing aids and talks to me." I get it--it makes complete sense--she is who she is and doesn't want to change but she wants to meet others like herself--she doesn't want to "become hearing" and fit in completely by denying her deafness, she doesn't want to "become Deaf" and give up her hearing through hearing aids and voice through speaking--she just wants to be HERSELF, a girl who is "deaf" and wears hearing aids and talks and is learning some sign language. And she wants to go to school with and be friends with people like HERSELF--not "hearing" without understanding how she feels and not "silent Deaf" without understanding how valuable listening and speaking is to her. To her, the ideal situation would be to go to school with lots of deaf people--some who talk, some who sign, some who do both--and she will talk to those who talk(those will probably be her best friends because they are most like her), learn sign so she can communicate with those who sign(and write notes if they don't understand each other), and do both with those who do both(change mode of communication depending on the situation).

Back to describing the scene of my daughter in the mainstream--she is not in a silent world there. She mostly talks with adults--she is very outgoing when in comfortable situations--she often has to be told to STOP talking and get to work--all of the teachers and adults say that she is so sweet because she is always saying nice things to them(that's a pretty dress, can I see a picture of your baby--awww she is SO cute!, your are the best teacher ever!). When it comes to talking to other students, she is kind of shy--she has some people that she carries on lengthy conversations with, and there may be some people who have had class with her all year and have never heard her speak. It all depends on the situation and how comfortable she feels--if she feels uncomfortable, she will "clam up" and not say anything(I was a shy hearing child and sometimes did the same thing). One things she HATES--speaking in front of a classroom full of students--that is VERY embarrassing to her(and also was very embarrassing to me when I was her age, too). So, all-in-all, my daughter talks a lot during the day--mostly to adults and sometimes to students when she feels comfortable. There isn't a communication barrier--it is more about feeling comfortable and confident. Some of this is about personality--in some situations she is quite extroverted, but in many situations she is often introverted. For the most part, she knows everyone's name and they know hers--she talks to those who she feels comfortable with, and does not talk to those who make her feel "different" in some way.

Hearing what is going on around her--school events sometimes were in large rooms with lots of background noise(she followed loud events fine, but sometimes had trouble tuning out other noises in some situations), she says that she always heard the intercom(often loud and hurt her ears though), in a quiet room with one student talking at a time--she usually heard what they said, in a loud room with lots of people talking--just a bunch of noise and hard to hear much of anything worthwhile, teachers using the fm system--heard them fine right in her ear--or heard them fine one-on-one without fm, teachers speaking to a large class without microphone--hear some but miss a lot.

Studying--homework--extra work--she worked very hard and sometimes took a long time to do things that others did quickly--sometimes she would "shut down" and "give up"--many times, she stated that she hated homework, or hated a particular subject, or didn't like a teacher, etc.--if her grades were struggling she often blamed the teacher because she says she "didn't understand" and the teacher "wouldn't help her." When her grades are good and she didn't have too much homework, she sometimes says that she likes a certain subject and loves her teachers. It is hard to enjoy school when you work hard but still don't make good grades--it is easier to enjoy it when you are succeeding and being rewarded.

My daughter is not the over-achieving student that you described--she is willing to work hard but she isn't really willing to "go the extra mile." She doesn't quote Shakespeare, read at the college-level, pass standardized tests with high scores, or have the top GPA in her class. But she does write and sing the lyrics of popular songs, reads almost at grade level, struggles with standardized tests, and made the AB honor roll this year.

She has no problem ordering her own food from restaurants--and asking for substitutions on the menu--and asking for drink refills and/or condiments. But she IS worried about things like adding up the bill, figuring out the tip, etc.--not a big need right now but will be in the future. She listens to a lot of popular music--sometimes she turns her stereo up loud like a typical teenager--sometimes she takes out her hearing aids and uses the headphones from CD players and mp3s(turns it up loud like a typical teenager, too!).
She sings along a lot--sometimes she misses or misunderstands the lyrics and sometimes she gets them perfectly right--she is a bit "tone deaf" and sings a bit "off key"(but so do I and so do many of our hearing family members!). She goes to movies and seems to have no problem following them--hasn't ever tried captioning at the theater but may be something to try one day. She watches television often and loves to use the closed captioning feature--so do I!--it is amazing what we ALL miss without it!--she often asks me what a certain word means because she saw it on the captioning(great for vocabulary development!). She loves to watch DVDs and always turns on the subtitles first--if someone has forgotten to do it, she says "Hey! Where are the words!" When we have been at events that used real-time captioning, we BOTH follow it religiously--it is SUCH a big help to everyone, hearing and deaf alike!--we wish EVERYTHING had real-time captioning!! We have been at events that had Jumbo screens but no captioning--why in the world do they not have captioning!--it would help SO MANY people(both hearing and deaf!).

So this is a detailed description of my daughter's daily life as an oral deaf person in the hearing world and mainstreamed schools. This is a portrait of "the whole child" from her unique perspective. She is VERY happy to hear with her hearing aids and speak with people on a daily basis. She has no regrets being "raised orally"--she is very thankful for her listening and speaking abilities. BUT she is a bit resentful about the mainstreaming into regular schools and being the only deaf student. It didn't bother her when she was younger--younger kids were pretty accepting of her and she fit in fine in most instances. But as she aged and matured, things became tougher. Academically, things were harder. Socially, things were harder. Older kids and adolescents are much less accepting of differences--fitting in is harder to do at that age when there is obviously something that make you stand out and feel different. All she wants to do is "fit in"--like ALL teenagers want to do!! As she approaches high school, she is weighing her options. She COULD continue in the mainstream--she might do okay academically--she might just "get by"--or she might struggle and fail--it is hard to predict. It is the social aspect that stands out the most--she doesn't want to try out for sports or other things if she is going to be the only deaf person on the team or in the group. She would probably continue to just have "acquaintances" but no TRUE friends. She might would be teased, but most likely, she would just be ignored and left out. This just doesn't seem like a good option for her. She really wants to try a deaf school for high school--she hopes teachers of the deaf will be patient with her and give her the help that she needs--she hopes to make good grades and do well in a deaf school environment--she is more willing to try out for sports and other activities if everyone else on the team or in the group is deaf, too--and she REALLY looks forward to making other deaf friends who are just like her! We are trying very hard to move and get her placed in an excellent deaf school soon--I hope it turns out to be the experience that she is dreaming of!--I hope she makes lots of great memories, lots of good friends, and gets on the right track to an enjoyable and productive future. I told her that I am sorry that she was not happy in the mainstream and that I will do whatever I can to help her get to a place where she IS happy. I only hope that making this change will truly be the best thing for her--I am thinking positively about it right now!
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Unread 06-01-2008, 10:44 AM   #28
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Sounds like your neat kid is on a roll now.
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Unread 06-01-2008, 03:33 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by deafbajagal View Post
Sounds like your neat kid is on a roll now.
I agree... her story make me go down the memory lanes of my old hearing schools...
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Unread 06-01-2008, 03:49 PM   #30
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Sounds like your neat kid is on a roll now.
I second that!
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