Does anyone else feel like their life was ruined by mainstream school

Discussion in 'Sign Language & Deaf Education' started by naturelchick, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. naturelchick

    naturelchick New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    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!
     
  2. shel90

    shel90 Audist are not welcome Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    44,986
    Likes Received:
    243
    Location:
    A place where crabs are popular
    Yep, my years being mainstreamed were pretty much the same and as a result, I learned to hate myself and my deafness so much that I was engaging in self-destructive behaviors as a young adult because I felt like a big time failure for not fitting in with my hearing peers after trying so hard to be like them.

    Yep, that's mainstreamed for ya. There is even a book about it. I will have to dig up the name. Very powerful.

    That is what most hearing parents refuse to understand when it comes to their own deaf children. "No, my child will be different." Turns out the their children end up with the same issues.
     
  3. VamPyroX

    VamPyroX bloody phreak from hell

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2003
    Messages:
    34,377
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    40.18, 58.41
    I'm actually glad that I was mainstreamed. It made me more aware of what was really going on. In some ways, it made me understand things from both worlds. I even learned to dislike how some other deaf students were being educated compared to how I was being educated. This goes towards the teachers, interpreters, and the parents.

    Yes, some interpreters were just horrible. They even had the authority to punish students or do whatever they wanted. I had an interpreter who would slam my desk if I wasn't giving her my full attention. I was trying to take notes from the overhead projection during math class. :roll: She would also leave 5 to 10 minutes before class was over so that she could take her medicine. (Umm, 5 or 10 minutes isn't going to kill you to wait to take your medicine.) They would even tell on hearing students if the hearing students did something behind the teacher's back. (Like tell a dirty joke, or pass notes, etc.)

    Teachers? I didn't really have problems with mainstream teachers in general, but I did have problems with the deaf education teachers. They treated deaf students poorly. Know those state tests that deaf students take to determine how educated they were? Well, there was one deaf guy who thought his test was too hard... that the teacher actually helped him through by giving him answers to some of the questions? :roll:

    Then there's the parents. Yes, some if also depends on the parents. It's the parents who are ignorant enough to not consider that their deaf children are just as capable as the hearing students. So, they're constantly whining to the school that the school is being too hard on their deaf children. They spoil the deaf children and don't take in part in the homework that the children bring home.

    My parents saw me as a deaf child, but didn't look at me as a deaf child who couldn't do what hearing people did. They would make sure I did my homework. (They helped me sometimes.) They would say "that's because you didn't study" if I did bad on my tests/quizzes. They would check my 3-week and 6-week report cards to see how I was doing. I even failed a class once and was expected to take summer school to make up for it.

    So, at the end... I'm glad I did what I did when I went through mainstream school. :)
     
  4. AlleyCat

    AlleyCat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Messages:
    16,953
    Likes Received:
    1,470
    Location:
    In my time zone
    I was mainstreamed starting with 3rd grade. I hated every minute of it. I was an outcast, even called "that freaky deaf kid" and so on. Totally picked on for signing, my speech, everything. 3rd grade to graduation was hell.
     
  5. Bottesini

    Bottesini Old Deaf Ranter Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    43,651
    Likes Received:
    449
    Location:
    HFA
    School years were bad, but my life has been good after. So no it didn't ruin my life.
    It useless to speculate on what might have been. I believe you have to take control of your own happiness and not let outside forces and things you didn't have charge of ruin it.
     
  6. JoeyDeafNinja

    JoeyDeafNinja Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,332
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Travelers Rest, SC
    Mainstream was hell for me. I am glad I attend Florida school for the Deaf and the Blind this fall.
     
  7. Speedy Hawk

    Speedy Hawk New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2010
    Messages:
    816
    Likes Received:
    0
    I hated hated my mainstreaming schools. I have been 4 different mainstreams schools and they all just bad as each other. Teachers are useless in all of them. Hearing kids treated me the same, picked on me and bullied me, even hurt me.

    I wouldn't tell any parent with deaf child to go mainstream ever. Mainstream are cruel place for deaf child, very cruel.
     
  8. naisho

    naisho Forum Disorders M.D.,Ph.D

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Messages:
    6,436
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    No, I don't feel like my life was ruined by mainstream. It wasn't perfect, sure. But it's one of those things that I feel shaped my life into who I am and I'm grateful for that. Kind of like how those old people say "When I was your age, I was in the army and learned to be a tough guy." gimmicks.

    But I think if I went to a deaf school, I would not have picked up on some of the things I learned in mainstream. I would have been in a pampered life, and would not know what to do or broke down crying, being negative or something if hearing people made fun of me after I got out of school.

    It was early on from mainstream that I learned how to defend myself from people in the real world.

    I had zero problems with the teacher personalities, they were all nice, every single one of them each year always asked if I needed accommodations. It may have been better from the deaf services, but the way I saw it, both have their perks.

    Bottisini is right, speculation is just like hypothetical situations, it's not productive to indulge in.
     
  9. shel90

    shel90 Audist are not welcome Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    44,986
    Likes Received:
    243
    Location:
    A place where crabs are popular
    I wanted to add...if I had gone to a Deaf school, I would have learned what my rights were, how to advocate for myself, and had Deaf role models who would help me feel ok about my deafness. Mainstreaming taught me that I was a "broken" hearing person.

    If I had a deaf child, I will never mainstream him/her.
     
  10. Beowulf

    Beowulf Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Messages:
    11,657
    Likes Received:
    217
    It was my karma being mainstreamed. I think back on it and am still learning lessons from it. Some people's karma entails them being in prison a lifetime, others entail living a life of luxury and incredible privilege. I look back at my time in mainstream and am still trying to make sense of it.
     
  11. warpedpink

    warpedpink Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    California Bay Area
    My answer would be yes, but my parents saw the downward spiral and promptly placed me in CSDF. I was doing fine academically but I had no friends, which is something that many "specialists" and parents fail to recognize the importance of. :(

    I was lucky.
     
  12. rebeccalj

    rebeccalj New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,584
    Likes Received:
    0
    Same here. Always trying to fit in. To belong. Self destructive. All of the above.

    I'm glad OP had earlier intervention and awakening than me. It wasn't until my 30s that I accept me as me and begin to embrace being Deaf.
     
  13. Sunshine

    Sunshine New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Messages:
    3,267
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Home of Canucks!
    I have Dallas mainstream school together. Without Dallas, mainstream would been horrible.
     
  14. CSign

    CSign New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2010
    Messages:
    3,280
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Best Coast, USA
    I keep seeing you mention Dallas... Who is that?
     
  15. Oceanbreeze

    Oceanbreeze New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Messages:
    9,978
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    S. FL
    Just because the school years are horrible, that doesn't mean that our entire lives have to be that way. Each of us determines what our lives are going to be like once we enter adulthood. You can look back on childhood and allow yourselves to be victimized by it OR you can rise above the crappy childhood, and make the rest of your life the way you want it to be.

    It's how the individual sees themselves. You can maintain that victim role or give it up. It's a CHOICE. You can stay stuck in "poor me, my childhood was crappy." OR You can say "OK, my childhood was crappy, but, I can make the rest of my life better." Its up to each person to decide how they want to live their lives.

    I like this post.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  16. shel90

    shel90 Audist are not welcome Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    44,986
    Likes Received:
    243
    Location:
    A place where crabs are popular
    Yea, me too..glad for the OP.

    When I finally learned ASL and the Deaf community at 25 years old, it didnt solve all of my problems right away but by the time I was 30, I finally felt at peace within myself after going through all the stages of shock, grief, and anger about realizing how wasted my childhood was.

    Now, I am almost 40 years old and I have learned to be very aggressive with hearing people about making ignorant comments, about meeting me halfway with communication, and telling them that I am not heairng impaired nor a broken hearing person. it has been working great so far.
     
  17. posts from hell

    posts from hell New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Messages:
    9,375
    Likes Received:
    1
    I am going to wager that it's obvious that Dallas is her sig other.
     
  18. rockin'robin

    rockin'robin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2007
    Messages:
    24,155
    Likes Received:
    337
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    It was the other way around for me...public schools until a few months into the 8th grade then to a deaf school after becoming deaf (for only 2 years.) I do remmy some problems I had in public school, but the majority of the time I sat in front of the class. Going to a deaf school, I knew no ASL and never had met a deaf person in my life, so it was quite "shocking" at first....I hid under the bed covers for 2 days!...

    However, I did adjust, learned some ASL and made deaf friends (life-long ones) and still have hearing friends from my days of being a hearing person. I'm immersed into both worlds and would not have it any other way.
     
  19. Sunshine

    Sunshine New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Messages:
    3,267
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Home of Canucks!
    Dallas my best friend / boyfriend :)
     
  20. deafdyke

    deafdyke Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Messages:
    15,388
    Likes Received:
    81
    Location:
    Trebekistan
    Oceanbreeze, that's easy. Because my experiance in mainstream school basicly gave me PSTD. You wouldn't tell an Iraq vet to just get over their PSTD would you?
    I also think telling our stories can help parents understand the negative impact of mainstreaming. So often mainstreaming is painted as some glorious utopia. It's not, and never has been. What I mean by mainstreaming is solotaire mainstreaming.
    Granted some states have reconized that kids can benifit from placements like regional dhh programs and magnet programs. But still.......
     

Share This Page

Looking to buy hearing aids online? Check out Hearex.com