For A Deaf Son, Documentary

Discussion in 'Sign Language & Deaf Education' started by warpedpink, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. warpedpink

    warpedpink Member

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    I have been working hard to find and buy the documentary, "For A Deaf Son" by Rob Tranchin about his son, Thomas Tranchin.

    I know about DCMP.org :: Home but are there any easier and quicker ways?


    It's an amazing and heart-wrenching documentary about parents who have conflicting opinions on what is best for their Deaf toddler, Tommy. Mom thinks the oral approach is the way to go and dad is in favor of ASL. This film follows their difficult journey and Tommy's obvious frustration.

    At age 15 or 16, in the midst of his parents divorce and unhappy life, he kills himself. Many say it's because his parents ultimately chose the oral approach and he lacked the pride, identity, and communication access most of us here at AD have. It's debatable.


    Personally, I think the divorce was just the feather on top...
     
  2. asongofhands

    asongofhands Member

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    I just saw this in my Deaf studies class. My teacher said that a former student wrote to the parents to find out what had happened in the intervening years, and that they said he had died in an accident. I'm just curious...How did you hear it was suicide?
     
  3. Smithtr

    Smithtr G.G.H.T Premium Member

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    serious on risk dangerous because cocern CODA recommand!

    I am shocked!

    many parents stress kids!

    I remember on long time i Knew already I change right wisdom I told school said no more serious I rememb
     
  4. society's_child

    society's_child New Member

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    I heard that he committed suicide too. Unfortunately, I can't quite recall the source so at this point, it's just hearsay.
     
  5. CSign

    CSign New Member

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    A heartwrenching documentary.... I did not identify at all with the mom. I thought she was selfish, and was trying to make her son something he was not.

    I was in tears through the film. I remember a comment by the mom when they were at a pool party or something. She said something like, "he doesn't have the words other kids his age do".

    I was thinking to myself WTF do you expect lady? He can't hear the words!! My heart broke for that boy. I could see the pain and frustration on his eyes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2011
  6. CSign

    CSign New Member

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  7. CSign

    CSign New Member

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  8. warpedpink

    warpedpink Member

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    I just know.. On one of the more popular blogs about that movie, it says: For those of you who have amazingly diagnosed his suicide as one cause by his parent’s indecision, I say shame on you. I knew Tommy well, and his parents were ordinary people put in an extraordinary position…and when it came to his happiness and education, they came out on top. Tommy’s death was caused by nothing more than an argument over television watching which began a series of events that led a happy, life loving fifteen year old to accidentally take a scare tactic too far and end up dead. If any of you are attributing this to his deafness and his fight to communicate, I understand why you’d make those connections, but I’m sorry to say that you are wrong. Not to take away from the seriousness of the issues facing parents with a deaf child, but in this case, you’re way off. (Comment by Matthew)

    http://www.alldeaf.com/sign-language-oralism/12460-deaf-son.html
     
  9. deafdyke

    deafdyke Well-Known Member

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    We watched this in my Deaf Studies class. You are SO right.....I remember the scene shot at CID, and the teen (this was when CID still had a viable K-8 program) saying (in his graduation speech) that his father cut the crass....and I remember that stereotypical Grizelda Fothergill (and why is it that almost all female oral teachers STILL look like they're straight out of the '40's, with beehive hairdos, conservative dresses, and ugly black lace up oxfords?) correcting his speech.
    Csign.....just wondering. Do you think a lot of parents are still privately greiving, and subconsciously pick oral only b/c it seems more " normal?" It really does seem to me that if a lot of hearing parents came to terms with their grief, by going to see jillo and actually meeting sucessfull educated dhh people who use ASL, the percentage of parents who opt for oral only would sink like a rock.
     
  10. CSign

    CSign New Member

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    I would be speculating as to why parents choose to go the oral route with their kids. I didn't take that route, so I can't speak from experience with that.

    I will say that some probably have been told by some "professional" along the way that sign will hinder their ability to communicate verbally. I would also speculate that some probably have feelings of (due to lack of a better word) incompetency; that they may not be able to actually learn and execute the language that would be accessible to their child.

    I know everyone always says that parents want their kids to be "normal" which I don't understand. "Normal" is so many different things, that there really is no "normal.".

    I think parents being connected with successful DHH teenagers/adults would be beneficial for them. They would be able to get a sense of what things can look like 20 years down the road. I think parents being given a broader packet of materials would be necessary.

    When my son was diagnosed, I received a packet that basically recommended the oral only philosophy. 7 years later, I still haven't opened it. I am keeping it though, to one day hopefully help put together a more comprehensive list of communication options- and one that doesn't promote one philosophy over another. If parents come to the conclusion on their own, they will be much better at following through because they will know in their heart of hearts that they made the right decision.
     
  11. deafdyke

    deafdyke Well-Known Member

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    Totally agreed!!!! There really is "no normal" ....and I wish parents of kids with disabilties would understand that. Like I do understand the grief and pain and all that when you're talking about a kid with a severe or a profound mental disablity or severe/profound (note I said severe/profound) autism. But just garden variety disabilties like blindness/low vision, hearing loss, wheelchair users etc etc..The reaction just seems so...I dunno out of proportion to the insult.....I have been on listservs where parents talk about the grief they experianced when their kid was identified as whatever.....I'd speak up and the parent would be all " You'll understand when you're a parent." WHAT?!?!? It's almost exactly like the way some parents react when they find out their kids are gay or otherwise different. In some cases it seems like parents just want designer perfect kids who will go to Harvard.
     
  12. sallylou

    sallylou Potterhead and Janeite Premium Member

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    If there was suicide involved, suicide is a mental health issue. You can't really "blame" anyone for a suicide. There are obviously factors leading to suicide because suicide results when an individual's emotional pain is greater than the ability to deal with it. It's cruel to blame parents or say that it was a moral failing on the individual's part. The only good that could come of such a situation (if it exists) is to improve mental health screening and care.
     
  13. CSign

    CSign New Member

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    I hope it didn't seem like I was blaming the mother for his death, because I wasn't... There are always countless factors that go into something like a suicide.

    I just wanted to put that out there...
     
  14. sallylou

    sallylou Potterhead and Janeite Premium Member

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    Csign, I didn't mean to imply that you blamed the parents. I would have probably had the same reaction you did. The whole human experience is like that. You felt compassion for the little boy. That doesn't mean that you were ready to tar and feather the mom.
     
  15. deafdyke

    deafdyke Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. Me too!!! But the thing is..........extreme unrealistic pressures to acheive can definitly trip stress that in turn may cause sucide. Need I bring up the high child sucide rates in Asia due to the culture of overacheivement?
    I don't think it was THE issue that may have set into motion the decision to kill himself.......but on the other hand.......it could be sort of like a kid feeling like he's a loser b/c he can't meet his parents expectations that he attend Harvard.
     
  16. sallylou

    sallylou Potterhead and Janeite Premium Member

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    deafdyke, I'm seeing this a lot with hearing kids, too. Even if they don't commit suicide, these kids usually have mental health issues. True self-esteem isn't based on acheivement.

    Before anyone blows up saying that they don't have mental issues, consider that most of us do have mental health issues at some point in our lives, often bought on by a challenging event (like divorce or a perceived failure). If you don't think that you never will have mental health issues, you are probably one of the crazy ones. Just saying.
     
  17. deafdyke

    deafdyke Well-Known Member

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    Oh yes, and severe mental health issues too. It's like yeah be involved and everything....but don't turn into a therapist or a stage mom or use your kid to keep up with the Joneses. But a lot of kids just seem to get stuck with really bad parents who aren't childcentered.
     
  18. faire_jour

    faire_jour New Member

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    Wirelessly posted

    i don't know where i read it, but i did read that it was not suicide, but an accident.
     
  19. deafbajagal

    deafbajagal New Member

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    Actually, I thought I did, too...yet warped says she knew him personally so I'm assuming she would know the facts.

    Either way, it's tragic and I'm truly sorry.
     
  20. warpedpink

    warpedpink Member

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    No, I don't. I was copying a comment from the blog.
     

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