To the "people"who stare at my child or feel sorry for her..

Maggiesmom

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Well I figured I could vent here because no one else in my family seemed to think it was a big deal so let me explain

(back story..Maggie is 19 months old with Microtia and atresia on right side- no ear or ear canal and left side in normal shaped ear has moderate to severe loss)

1st story, a friend of mine had her baby a month before Maggie so her little girl is 20 months old. Today while we were talking and her little girl was chatting up a storm she says,wow Maggie still isn't talking. (apparently her little girl can say, mom,dad, both of her brothers names, bye, hey, no, tea, and few other things) my reply is what has been for a while when this comes up like at the drs office or wherever is that babies all learn to talk at different times. While I know she didn't mean anything by it and she's a great friend...it irked me that the babies had to be compared...like contest or something ...I also told her that while she might not be talking she can sign, bath, more, eat, milk(when she wants to nurse), kiss, dad, mom, drink...so shes "saying" just as many words in my opinion...

2nd story, we went to the park this past Sunday. When we are home Maggie is like a little lemur climbing and running around but in public she is very reserved and stoic if you will. I put her in the swing but she didn't like so we sat down on a bench and watched her brother and sister play. She was perfectly content in observing everyone. After a while a mom and her baby who was 1 and walking came by. Her baby approached Maggie and we signed ( mostly me signing and then showing her how to make the signs the best her little hands can) nice to meet you! The mother I am guessing either saw Maggie's deformed ear ( we call it her Nemo ear) or because we were signing says the following "oh shes deaf...I am so sorry" she then scoops her baby up, looks at Maggie like a one of those dogs in the humane society commercials and walks to the other side of the play ground... I was dumbfounded. I am over here like did that just happen? She can't hear you , she not got leprosy or contagious for pete's sake, and in a great sour grapes fashion I told Maggie that they didn't look like they were having fun anyway!

Maybe I am overly sensitive but both of these incidents really ticked me off. Thanks for letting me complain! - Maggie's mom
 

Mieke

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I love and hate hearing these stories, one the one side it urges me more to learn sign, on the other it disgusts me...

Sorry you both have to go through these things, your baby is just as lovely and bright as any of these other babies :)
 

Barbaro

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Some parents can be silly. My 21 months old hearing son doesn't talk except sign. Actually, he takes after his father's side. His father started to talk normal when he turned four years old. Believe it or not, they thought his father was not going to be normal, but they are wrong. His father is an engineer and has two degrees under his belt.

Boys are slower than girls. I am not concerned. My 21 month old son enjoys watching children at parks and places, too. He is obsessed with his books. Some people are so worried about my son, thinking he will not talk, but I assure them he can sign and knows words. He will talk when he is ready. Period.
 

Maggiesmom

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We need brave mothers.
Thank you Beowulf, I sometimes am unsure of what is the polite way of saying she doesn't have a problem... your problem with her deafness is your problem not hers. My husband is a CODA so he's really good in situations like these. She has a BAHA hearing aid which she hates so we don't force it on her but when she does wear it in public, because it isn't a traditional hearing aid we get people who stop and stare or ask questions. Once someone asked the question "what is on that baby's head?" My husband replied it's her bluetooth, she's our secretary and fields our phone calls." The cashier just stared blankly back at us.
 

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Maggiesmom

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Some parents can be silly. My 21 months old hearing son doesn't talk except sign. Actually, he takes after his father's side. His father started to talk normal when he turned four years old. Believe it or not, they thought his father was not going to be normal, but they are wrong. His father is an engineer and has two degrees under his belt.

Boys are slower than girls. I am not concerned. My 21 month old son enjoys watching children at parks and places, too. He is obsessed with his books. Some people are so worried about my son, thinking he will not talk, but I assure them he can sign and knows words. He will talk when he is ready. Period.
Thank you, I appreciate your support as mother. I just get mad that people are still rude, I mean we are too advanced as a society and human race to treat people differently over speech, or there lack off...or at least I think we should be that way
 

Maggiesmom

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I love and hate hearing these stories, one the one side it urges me more to learn sign, on the other it disgusts me...

Sorry you both have to go through these things, your baby is just as lovely and bright as any of these other babies :)
Thank you so much! I completely agree however I am bit biased!!! I admit I am a little sensitive but I just want her to be treated like everyone else, I don't feel like her deafness is anything to be looked down on so it bothers me that other people do but I guess I can't change how others react , I just need to work on my reactions and not letting it upset me.
 

Beowulf

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Thank you Beowulf, I sometimes am unsure of what is the polite way of saying she doesn't have a problem... your problem with her deafness is your problem not hers. My husband is a CODA so he's really good in situations like these. She has a BAHA hearing aid which she hates so we don't force it on her but when she does wear it in public, because it isn't a traditional hearing aid we get people who stop and stare or ask questions. Once someone asked the question "what is on that baby's head?" My husband replied it's her bluetooth, she's our secretary and fields our phone calls." The cashier just stared blankly back at us.
Your husband is on the right track.
You sound like a family worth knowing. :)
 

KerBear

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I, too, am sorry you are going through this. People can be so insensitive sometimes :(
From what you have described, Maggie has the perfect amount of language for her age. Regardless of which language it is, from a growth and development perspective, it's still language. It sounds like you and your husband are doing a fantastic job with her!
By the way, Maggie is ADORABLE! My 6-year-old daughter thinks so, too :)
 

Mieke

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Thank you so much! I completely agree however I am bit biased!!! I admit I am a little sensitive but I just want her to be treated like everyone else, I don't feel like her deafness is anything to be looked down on so it bothers me that other people do but I guess I can't change how others react , I just need to work on my reactions and not letting it upset me.

Oh I totally get it, have 2 kids myself so biased there as well, we are all hearing, But Im trying to get it in to their still young brains that sign is equal to spoken language and they seem to pick it up a bit. As soon as I start actual Flemish sign classes, plan on making them learn along with me, so they wont grow up to be ignorant hearies ;)

Mine are 5 and 7, and the oldest one actually manages to get quite some fingerspelling already :)
 

Maggiesmom

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I, too, am sorry you are going through this. People can be so insensitive sometimes :(
From what you have described, Maggie has the perfect amount of language for her age. Regardless of which language it is, from a growth and development perspective, it's still language. It sounds like you and your husband are doing a fantastic job with her!
By the way, Maggie is ADORABLE! My 6-year-old daughter thinks so, too :)
Thank you! I think so too :) and tell your daughter we said thank you! That's the thing why is it not equal that even though she isn't speaking she is signing , I think that should count!
 

Maggiesmom

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Oh I totally get it, have 2 kids myself so biased there as well, we are all hearing, But Im trying to get it in to their still young brains that sign is equal to spoken language and they seem to pick it up a bit. As soon as I start actual Flemish sign classes, plan on making them learn along with me, so they wont grow up to be ignorant hearies ;)

Mine are 5 and 7, and the oldest one actually manages to get quite some fingerspelling already :)
Oh wow! I am not very good a fingerspelling at all, I am just not there speed wise. Your children are very bright! That is what upset me the most is that her signs are not viewed equal to speach to most people, but obviously not everyone!
 

MCB

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Thank you! I think so too :) and tell your daughter we said thank you! That's the thing why is it not equal that even though she isn't speaking she is signing , I think that should count!
They may be the same people who treat any language other than spoken and written English as not being true communication. As another poster said, that is their problem. Best to ignore them. If they try to impose their standards, then by all means take action.
 

Barbaro

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Thank you, I appreciate your support as mother. I just get mad that people are still rude, I mean we are too advanced as a society and human race to treat people differently over speech, or there lack off...or at least I think we should be that way

My mother would not hesitate to agree with you. I'm profoundly deaf. When I was a kid, I didn't know they were rude to me and I couldn't understand. My mother won't tolerate this type of behavior. She usually approaches them and talks to them that it was unacceptable. She is not afraid to be blunt. She taught me to do role playing exercises when I was a kid, so I can fight my own battles in real world.
 

Tristen

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I, too, get the funny stares when I'm signing with Gemma or when people see her hearing aids. Half of me wants to say something snarky, but the other half (the half I listen to more often) just smiles. Maggie is totally on par with signing, from what I've read. She is doing so great! And is so adorable! I've attached the Visual Communication and Sign Language Checklist for Signing Children from Gallaudet. I just came upon it in one of my random web searches. You are totally right, all children develop at different paces, but I found this very interesting since its tailored to signing kids. I also read somewhere that a reason why one child may not be "excelling" at something is because they chose to excel at something else, and they'll "get around to it" on their own terms. They are human beings and one child may not have any interest in crawling, for example. It has nothing to do with intelligence. And honestly, deaf children are just more visual, that's how they are wired, so she is doing great with her visual language! And don't let anyone tell you any differently.
 

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Maggiesmom

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I, too, get the funny stares when I'm signing with Gemma or when people see her hearing aids. Half of me wants to say something snarky, but the other half (the half I listen to more often) just smiles. Maggie is totally on par with signing, from what I've read. She is doing so great! And is so adorable! I've attached the Visual Communication and Sign Language Checklist for Signing Children from Gallaudet. I just came upon it in one of my random web searches. You are totally right, all children develop at different paces, but I found this very interesting since its tailored to signing kids. I also read somewhere that a reason why one child may not be "excelling" at something is because they chose to excel at something else, and they'll "get around to it" on their own terms. They are human beings and one child may not have any interest in crawling, for example. It has nothing to do with intelligence. And honestly, deaf children are just more visual, that's how they are wired, so she is doing great with her visual language! And don't let anyone tell you any differently.
Oh man you are awesome!!! thank you so much for sharing this with me. I agree with you about the excelling at somethings at not at others, while my girlfriends little girl can talk, she didn't walk until she was 14 months old. Maggie walked at 9 months, however I didn't brag about it to my friend and I am not saying she was bragging about the talking but I couldn't help to feel like its was a jab. I am glad its not just me!
 

AlleyCat

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I don't have any deaf children, or any children for that matter, but this reminded me of what my parents went through with me. I was not at the same pace at all compared to my older sister (who is hearing, I am deaf) and my pediatrician was stubborn about not wanting to test me for anything until my parents REALLY insisted when I was 15 months old. One hearing test was all it took to figure out what was going on :)
 

Maggiesmom

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I don't have any deaf children, or any children for that matter, but this reminded me of what my parents went through with me. I was not at the same pace at all compared to my older sister (who is hearing, I am deaf) and my pediatrician was stubborn about not wanting to test me for anything until my parents REALLY insisted when I was 15 months old. One hearing test was all it took to figure out what was going on :)
Good for your parents! My parents are retired pediatricians and yes they can be extremely stubborn creatures. I hope this isn't too personal of a question and if it is don't feel obligated to answer, but did your parents learn ASL or do speech? My husband is a CODA so we are fully committed to ASL, but I am having a hard time getting my son who is 10 to want to learn. Are you and your older sister close? I am sure mine might not be due to the age difference and being a boy and girl but I don't want communication barriers too!
 

Tristen

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I don't have any deaf children, or any children for that matter, but this reminded me of what my parents went through with me. I was not at the same pace at all compared to my older sister (who is hearing, I am deaf) and my pediatrician was stubborn about not wanting to test me for anything until my parents REALLY insisted when I was 15 months old. One hearing test was all it took to figure out what was going on :)

Yes, good for your parents! This makes me so happy they do mandatory newborn hearing screenings at the hospital before mom and baby leave!
 

AlleyCat

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Good for your parents! My parents are retired pediatricians and yes they can be extremely stubborn creatures. I hope this isn't too personal of a question and if it is don't feel obligated to answer, but did your parents learn ASL or do speech? My husband is a CODA so we are fully committed to ASL, but I am having a hard time getting my son who is 10 to want to learn. Are you and your older sister close? I am sure mine might not be due to the age difference and being a boy and girl but I don't want communication barriers too!
My parents and sister did learn sign (back then it was SEE). My dad forgot his early on, but my mom still signs with me today. I'm an ASL user, but I understand what she's signing. I had speech therapy all through my school years, so my speech is fairly decent. I am very close to my sister.
 
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