I went to a deaf school from pre-k to 3rd grade...i was popular and very social... The school and my parents decided because I was ahead of my peers that I should be transferred to an all hearing school to be mainstreamed... My parents got me all hyped up about it and made Me feel smart and better than everyone in my class. Then my ego was shot down when I was around all hearing people... People always had the misconception that because I could speak clearly that I could hear more than I could (lots of agonising speech therapy and I became deaf at around age 5) coupled with my parents giving me the impression that deaf people were kind of low educated compared to me I was so ashamed about my deafness so I always tried to hide it by nodding alot which made me feel so stupid..i didn't even have an interpreter...my mom did the majority of my homework so I never learned much.. Classes were so boring..i woulddaydream or read books. I was anti-social and isolated myself. Then around 10th grade I had a teacher (not my teacher) that slowly changed my views..i fought for an interpreter but because of my already extremely low-confidence I was embarrassed most of the time. If it Hadn't been for him I never would have gone to gallaudet where my social life exploded.. But I still have social awkwardness... The early years are important for development of personality I believe...i remember I begged my parents to move me to the state residential school..i figured a social life would be better than neither social life or education.. My parents flat out refused..so ridiculous! I feel sorry for anyone that had to go through what I did by being mainstreamed!