Speech: A blessing or a curse?

BecLak

Well-Known Member
There is a hot debate going on in our home at the moment. I am the only one deaf in our family. My husband and children are all hearing. My husband speaks several languages, so our family is in a muti-lingual environment.

When I informed my family that I preferred to go voice-off and use only visual communication (sign language, pen and paper, some home sign, texting on phone, phone memos, facebook and skype text, IM, etc).....

(Of course, considering my husband - in meetings as secretary and assistant to my husband it is still required for me to use speech and therefore will continue to do so when absolutely necessary until I can find a way to even phase the need of speech out as much as humanly possible; but I am referring to the home environment and casual family outings where I have the choice to go voice-off and would, of course, prefer to so I consider it fair to ask them all to accomodate me as such.)

Although my hearing family have always been understanding and supportive with notifying me when someone is talking to me, alerting me if someone was at the door or visiting, always accompanied me on important appointments so they could relay to me what was being said and discussed. They rarely leave me on my own, which is a courtesy I appreciate.

However, the response of my family members went something like this:

But you have been speaking all your life....why stop now?

Many people want the ability to speak but can't, consider yourself blessed that you can, why not?

But I miss having a proper conversation with you and hearing your voice.

Why waste your time learning and using sign language when you can speak?

You have managed fine up until now with speaking, why change?

It is so much easier just to speak.


But you are not 100% Deaf, so you don't need to use sign language.


However, before you state your opinions on my family's response, remember they are echoing a common mindset of the hearing - this debate is not just my family issue. It is a very real one for all of us who are Deaf.

Your thoughts please
......
 

shel90

Audist are not welcome
Premium Member
Speech can be a double edge sword...you have to take the negatives that comes with the positives.

It is not as easy to be a deaf person with excellent speech skills like many people believe.
 

BecLak

Well-Known Member
Speech can be a double edge sword...you have to take the negatives that comes with the positives.

It is not as easy to be a deaf person with excellent speech skills like many people believe.

Good point, Shel, could you elaborate? Are you saying that I acknowledge their viewpoint but still soldier on to insist on visual communication only; or that I should find some compromise?
 

naisho

Forum Disorders M.D.,Ph.D
Your family sees you as one of them, they don't compare you to a complete Deaf which seems to be the key point. I feel like I can't pitch in because there may be more to it than meets the web.

I think this issue fits perfectly within the concept of heterozygous advantage, if you are able to utilize more than one thing, you have better 'survival' compared to those who don't. The important part to anything in life is if you don't use it enough, you'll likely get less in touch with the skill. This applies equally to ASL and Oral, as well as Kung Fu, reading, maintaining body image, and so on..
 

inmate23

Active Member
However, the response of my family members went something like this:

But you have been speaking all your life....why stop now?I'm NOT stopping as I will have work I'm just having down time in my own space

Many people want the ability to speak but can't, consider yourself blessed that you can, why not? I am grateful for the ability to speak I also grateful to be a member of the Deaf community

But I miss having a proper conversation with you and hearing your voice.

Why waste your time learning and using sign language when you can speak?Its just adding another language/s t means that I will be able elp more people

You have managed fine up until now with speaking, why change?Have I really or have just being trying to "pass" based on what the audiologists told us

It is so much easier just to speak.For u


But you are not 100% Deaf, so you don't need to use sign language.For u


However, before you state your opinions on my family's response, remember they are echoing a common mindset of the hearing - this debate is not just my family issue. It is a very real one for all of us who are Deaf.

Your thoughts please
......
My answers in red
 

BecLak

Well-Known Member
Your family sees you as one of them, they don't compare you to a complete Deaf which seems to be the key point. I feel like I can't pitch in because there may be more to it than meets the web.

I think this issue fits perfectly within the concept of heterozygous advantage, if you are able to utilize more than one thing, you have better 'survival' compared to those who don't. The important part to anything in life is if you don't use it enough, you'll likely get less in touch with the skill. This applies equally to ASL and Oral, as well as Kung Fu, reading, maintaining body image, and so on..

:ty: I like the way you write Naisho. Putting in layman's terms: Such as juggling the many hats I already wear in life right? :P
 

shel90

Audist are not welcome
Premium Member
Good point, Shel, could you elaborate? Are you saying that I acknowledge their viewpoint but still soldier on to insist on visual communication only; or that I should find some compromise?

By being able to speak, it gives hearing people the false impression that I could hear as well as I could speak which leads to misunderstandings and frustrations. As a result, I get blamed for it which made me feel terrible about myself.

Now, I dont allow it and as a result, I get labeled as someone being "stubborn" and unwilling to change.

Whatever to you, hearing people. I no longer care what they think anymore. It is not worth it.

I will use my speech skills but not at the expense of my happiness.
 

inmate23

Active Member
BecLak
However, the response of my family members went something like this:

But you have been speaking all your life....why stop now?I'm NOT stopping as I will have work I'm just having down time in my own space

Many people want the ability to speak but can't, consider yourself blessed that you can, why not? I am grateful for the ability to speak I also grateful to be a member of the Deaf community

But I miss having a proper conversation with you and hearing your voice.

Why waste your time learning and using sign language when you can speak?Its just adding another language/s t means that I will be able elp more people

You have managed fine up until now with speaking, why change?Have I really or have just being trying to "pass" based on what the audiologists told us

It is so much easier just to speak.For u

But you are not 100% Deaf, so you don't need to use sign language.For u


However, before you state your opinions on my family's response, remember they are echoing a common mindset of the hearing - this debate is not just my family issue. It is a very real one for all of us who are Deaf.

Your thoughts please......
My answers in red

:ty: inmate23. You echoed everything I said in response to them. It is comforting to have it coming from someone other than myself. :D

I have similar problems with my family but I come from an unaided little deaf low vision oral normal print(glasses when can afford them) family.

If I have kids Deafblindness skills from the moment the they are placed in my arms
 

Hohtopics

New Member
When I informed my family that I preferred to go voice-off and use only visual communication (sign language, pen and paper, some home sign, texting on phone, phone memos, facebook and skype text, IM, etc).....
A good question is what made you decide to go in that route? That sometime I get the impression that you've actually had very little live interactions with other deaf, hearing-impaired, hard-of-hearing, late deafened or even Deaf. That you came to most of your conclusions just based on your interactions in the forum. Although I could be mistaken.
 

jillio

New Member
By being able to speak, it gives hearing people the false impression that I could hear as well as I could speak which leads to misunderstandings and frustrations. As a result, I get blamed for it which made me feel terrible about myself.

Now, I dont allow it and as a result, I get labeled as someone being "stubborn" and unwilling to change.

Whatever to you, hearing people. I no longer care what they think anymore. It is not worth it.

I will use my speech skills but not at the expense of my happiness.

This is so true!! If I had a nickle for everytime I have heard an ignorant hearing person say, "He/she hears more than you think. Look at how well he/she speaks!" or "If he/she can speak that well, what does he/she need sign language for? I could retire very comfortably right now!

Unfortunately, hearing people put so much value on their ability to speak that they don't even realize how stupid some of the ideas they speak can be!:giggle:
 

Buffalo

Active Member
Your family sees you as one of them, they don't compare you to a complete Deaf which seems to be the key point. I feel like I can't pitch in because there may be more to it than meets the web.

I think this issue fits perfectly within the concept of heterozygous advantage, if you are able to utilize more than one thing, you have better 'survival' compared to those who don't. The important part to anything in life is if you don't use it enough, you'll likely get less in touch with the skill. This applies equally to ASL and Oral, as well as Kung Fu, reading, maintaining body image, and so on..

Yes, I learn to speak so this is my back up language in case I lose the use of my hands. Where is the hearing people's back up language in case they lose the ability of speaking or hearing???? They are not thinking right or they are just plain lazy.

When I was about 8 or so, I told someone that the hearing people are lazy to learn sign language. I still feel the same now. I think the hearing people are so selfish that they don't bother to return the favor - their signing for my speaking.
 

Frisky Feline

Well-Known Member
I may not able to answer your questions or apply to your post because I am an ASL user. But I have noticed that sometimes some of you or my husband who can speak that tend to struggle not to use voice or not depending on their moods when they are around people. At first, i did not understand and got furious with my hub because i thought he can speak means he can speak anytime. But I learn more about him and all of you. It has to do something with struggling with a sense of self efficacy. :dunno:
 

jillio

New Member
I may not able to answer your questions or apply to your post because I am an ASL user. But I have noticed that sometimes some of you or my husband who can speak that tend to struggle not to use voice or not depending on their moods when they are around people. At first, i did not understand and got furious with my hub because i thought he can speak means he can speak anytime. But I learn more about him and all of you. It has to do something with struggling with a sense of self efficacy. :dunno:

Very insightful of you!
 

Babyblue

New Member
This is so true!! If I had a nickle for everytime I have heard an ignorant hearing person say, "He/she hears more than you think. Look at how well he/she speaks!" or "If he/she can speak that well, what does he/she need sign language for? I could retire very comfortably right now!

Unfortunately, hearing people put so much value on their ability to speak that they don't even realize how stupid some of the ideas they speak can be!:giggle:

I get accused of that often.
 

Speedy Hawk

New Member
My speech causes me so many problems so I avoid speech as much as possible. Hearing people keeps thinking that my speech equals my hearing but it not. Also if I speak and give them paper and pen to write their respones down and they will refused to do that and think I am treating them as fool.

Only time I MUST use my speech when I am work for Deaf Awareness Training, when I give presenation about being Deaf Aware and when I use speech I will always use sign with it. I can't use my speech without signing cos it becomes harder for me to think what to say and how to say it. It be SSE (Sign Support English). In that situation only hearing people are more accepting that my speech doesn't mean my hearing is good and it helps that I always have interpreter there. So I am not faking it.

Most of time I use BSL if others can or terp is there and use paper and pen.
 

Miss-Delectable

New Member
Tell your family that you're deaf. Heck, in the dictionary, HOH and deaf are one and the same all because they cannot hear like a hearie.

Educate them that it's a new cultural identity you are building for yourself.

Hopefully, you'll be in the position to place them in an all deaf environment and see how they react.

I read that you're learning some Thai sign. How is that going?
 

BecLak

Well-Known Member
Wirelessly posted

Miss-Delectable said:
Tell your family that you're deaf. Heck, in the dictionary, HOH and deaf are one and the same all because they cannot hear like a hearie.

Educate them that it's a new cultural identity you are building for yourself.

Hopefully, you'll be in the position to place them in an all deaf environment and see how they react.

I read that you're learning some Thai sign. How is that going?

Yes, :ty: MD I should start to spell it out for them. I am doing well with learning TSL will try it out this week at church. :)
 

Hohtopics

New Member
A good question is what made you decide to go in that route? That sometime I get the impression that you've actually had very little live interactions with other deaf, hearing-impaired, hard-of-hearing, late deafened or even Deaf. That you came to most of your conclusions just based on your interactions in the forum. Although I could be mistaken.
I see that BecLak did not answer the above question.

BecLak, if I were you I'd keep your speech skills, you may regret losing it someday. Although it's your call.

Perhaps, you could also give hearing aids another try after not wearing them for a long time. As pointed out in some of the other threads, they're better now than they were 20 to 30 years ago. It might enable you to understand others better.
 
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