Am i deaf or hard of hearing? idk

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Taphy, Feb 17, 2017 at 12:45 AM.

  1. Taphy

    Taphy New Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I grew up hearing and didn't begin hearing loss until I was 25. I have an auto-immune disorder that is hereditary on my mother's side. It only affects my hearing. I have a few family members who have hearing loss. They act like it's the worst thing in the world that happened to them and they can hear better than I can. I don't feel that way. I'm thankful. It's not my heart; It's not my kidneys. I won't die, because of this. I'm fine. I'm healthy.

    Since I began losing hearing as an adult, I'm oral (people ask me what country I'm from and say I have an accent), and now I'm taking a college ASL class. :) My hearing has slowly been getting worse and now I'm profound in one ear. (I don't remember the exact dB.) My other ear is moderate to severe. Without hearing aids I have 20% word recognition and with hearing aids I have 40% word recognition (in one ear, my other ear is 0%.) Hearing aids don't help me hear that much better. Actually, I seldom wear them because the little they help isn't worth the hassle.

    As I said, I'm taking ASL and I'm the only person in the class who doesn't hear. I've had to ask the teacher what the sign means and she has to finger spell it for me. I rely on the computer a lot to learn the signs. It kind of drives me crazy that learning ASL is geared for hearing people. My topic question, for my ASL class we have to go to a Deaf social. I'm not sure what to tell the people at the social. I'm not a hearing person, but I don't know what is hard of hearing and what is deaf.
     
  2. DeafNerdMommy

    DeafNerdMommy Well-Known Member

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    I was raised hearing but lost my hearing over the years. I always identified as hard of hearing so now that I have profound hearing loss which most say is deaf, I still say hard of hearing. It all depends on what you are comfortable with. You can say either one. I find it easier to say HOH because I am oral and some deafs give me a funny face when I talk.
     
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  3. Taphy

    Taphy New Member

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    Thank you DeafNerdMomm. I wasn't sure what the etiquette is. I don't have an issue saying I'm deaf. I guess I'm just really nervous about meeting people in the Deaf community. I've been isolated for a long time. It's hard for me to meet people and make friends, because I can't hear.
     
  4. DeafNerdMommy

    DeafNerdMommy Well-Known Member

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    I kind of know how that feels. All my friends are hearing do when I ask them to learn sign or text me while standing next to me, they get annoyed. Luckily for me my husband signs with me.
     
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  5. zephren

    zephren Active Member

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    Welcome :wave:

    You have a very positive attitude regarding your situation.

    As DNM said, it is up to you to decide how you want to identify. From your intro, deaf seems very appropriate but again use what is comfortable for you. Also, it is not uncommon for people to change their identification and that is fine too.

    As far as ASL classes, first off :applause:! It should help you feel less isolated as you make Deaf friends. Most people are nervous attending their first socials so that is a normal response.

    You may want to look into classes offered by a Deaf instructor. I teach ASL classes. No talking is allowed in my classes. All communication is to be signed or written on the board if you don't know the signs so I can understand and it is accessible to everyone. I find that not only does it make it so everyone can participate in the converstation but it helps people learn ASL faster if they are not relying on spoken language.

    A lot of deaf people speak so speaking doesn't make you any less deaf.
     
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  6. Beowulf

    Beowulf Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Taphy, you're deaf at least.
    Enjoy it.
    For real.
     
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