What happens when children of CI don't get to use sign language?

AlleyCat

Well-Known Member
A post by one of our own members:

Fuckkkkk its 6 degrees here and i wana go out and skate but my implants broken so i cant hear shit. This is balllllllssssssssssssssssss man
That is too bad. Do you have any other way to communicate?

And ...

Why I Choose Not to Drop Sign Language for My Daughter Who Has a Cochlear Implant

"I started looking at cochlear implant options for my daughter when she was three years old. My daughter was born deaf and has a bilateral hearing loss. Her hearing loss was detected when she was born, she failed the initial hearing screening that was performed at the hospital. I had to take her back to the hospital for a repeat hearing screening about two weeks after we left the hospital, once again she failed the hearing screening.

Then she was referred to the ENT to determine if her hearing loss was caused by fluid in her ears. Her ears were normal and they weren't being blocked by fluids. So the next step was an Auditory Brainstem Response Test (ABR). She was just a few weeks old when these were performed, she had to sleep during the test so that they could get an accurate result. After several failed tests, it was determined that she was in fact deaf.

As a mom, I started feeling like a failure and started looking back at what I could have done differently during my pregnancy. I had a normal pregnancy. I went through all the stages of grief, and finally came to terms with the fact that she was made this way for a reason.

Learning Her First Language - Sign Language
When she was about a year and a half, she was fitted with hearing aides. I remember her constantly pulling them out of her ears and throwing them on the floor constantly. They didn't provide any assistance to her but we had to go through the motions in order for her to get a cochlear implant. In the late 90's, it was common that babies weren't fitted with cochlear implants until they were at least 2 years old. However, that isn't the case any longer.

She began learning sign language around a year old and she started signing back to use around 18 months from what I can remember. I was excited that she was learning how to communicate her needs to me.

My daughter is also very good at reading lips as well.

Surgery Day
I found out that I was pregnant with her brother and decided that she needed to get her cochlear implant so that she could hear and communicate with him. She was three at this time. In order to get a cochlear implant, she had to go through a series of tests in order to confirm that she was a good candidate for an implant.

She finally is able to get her cochlear implant and is scheduled for surgery. I was nervous for my daughter on the day of her surgery, and it was probably the longest 4 hours of my life. She did great and this was part of her journey to become part of the hearing world.

She had to let her surgery site heal for about a month before she could get her implant "turned on". I took her to her appointment to get fitted for her implant and the look on her face was priceless when she heard noise for the first time. They set her implant on a low setting so that she could get used to hearing noises. I remember on our way home from this appointment, she heard her baby brother cry for the first time. She signed to me that he was being loud. It was the cutest thing ever.

After several more trips to the audiologist for fine tuning, she is able to heard sounds within a normal hearing range.

She Is Still Deaf
I remember that the doctors recommended that we drop the sign language and force her to use her new hearing and speech in order to communicate with her. However, I didn't listen to the doctors. I decided that she still needed the re-enforcement of her sign language skills to help her communicate. I am thankful that I made this decision, because over the years I found that there has been many times that sign language was a necessity for her.

The bottom line is: "she is still deaf without the implant" and needs the sign language for the following reasons:

Bathing/Swimming - You can't use the implant in water.

Broken Equipment - There was several times that she was without her implant for a few weeks, when we were waiting on replacement parts or new equipment, due to it getting broken or lost. We had an implant go into the Atlantic Ocean, she tripped and fell and it flew off the dock. Stuff happens and most insurance companies won't pay for a "spare" or "back up" implant.

Batteries Die - If her batteries no longer are working and she forgets to bring more with her, then she is without her hearing device.

She is very fluent in sign language and it will come in handy when she is able to enter the workforce in a few short years. She will be considered bi-lingual."
Why I Choose Not to Drop Sign Language for My Daughter Who Has a Cochlear Implant
 
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TXgolfer

Dream Weaver
Premium Member
:wave: Miss ya'll.

Yes it's sad when a child is not given a back up plan for communication.
 

bbaseballboy123

New Member
wonder how long can they stand and function without CI in life?
like... 2 minutes, then we get an emotional break down, and wish we never lived to begin with.

But for real, even if the kids (like me even though im learning) dont know asl, they just find other ways to communicate... just the same way as you guys communicate with the airport employees, or most public places where you just want to order a subway.
Using a phone to type out what you want to say/want.
 

Frisky Feline

Well-Known Member
like... 2 minutes, then we get an emotional break down, and wish we never lived to begin with.

But for real, even if the kids (like me even though im learning) dont know asl, they just find other ways to communicate... just the same way as you guys communicate with the airport employees, or most public places where you just want to order a subway.
Using a phone to type out what you want to say/want.

Do you use phone to type when you need to talk to them alot?
 

Anij

Well-Known Member
Wirelessly posted (Blackberry Bold )

Cloggy said:
Truer words were never written.
Very few people that can hear have a backup plan...
They also don't "rely" on technology to allow them to interpret auditory information.

Having an additional mode of communication (bi-bi etc) for hoh/deaf should be as automatic and logical as people knowing with computers (technology) you always need to have up-to-date back ups of critical information.

If you rely on HA/CI to hear sounds ... You need a back up if the technology fails. That's just logical.
 

GrendelQ

41°17′00″N 70°04′58″W
Premium Member
Very few people that can hear have a backup plan...
I don't know about that Cloggy, if I can't talk to someone live, my back-up plan is to use telephone or to write (text, email, letter, note). If I can't talk to someone in my native language, I'd switch to another language that we might share (probably executing it poor, but communicating, nevertheless).

If my daughter breaks or (ugh) permanently damages her right wrist, she may not be able to sign (effectively) or write well but she could understand other people signing and speaking to her, and then adapt using some accommodation. If her CIs break (either temp or permanently), she won't be able to hear, but she'll still be able to speechread, speak, write and read. Either way, she's got some back-up both within her modes of communication and across modes.

Now, she's learning Mandarin (slowly), so I guess you could say it is back-up for English. And that's great -- if she's with others who can use Mandarin. But that's not going to be much help when she's out and about in the United States (unless she sticks to Chinatown or other immersive neighborhoods/environments).

Similarly, I guess you could say that ASL is a back up for English. And again, that's great -- if she's with others who can use ASL. But that's not going to be much help when she's out and about in the US (unless she stays on her school campus).

But, I don't really see ASL as a back up for English. I see it as an alternative to English, or English is an alternative to ASL, and you can use each language with different populations of people, for the most part. If you use only English, and you choose not to learn Mandarin, French, German, and any other language, you are effectively restricting your interactions to those who use English. If you use ASL and can't/don't use technology to hear/speak English, you are restricting your interactions to those who use ASL. Seems like our ideal would be to learn and use as many languages / modalities as possible to reach out to / communicate with the most people.
 

Anij

Well-Known Member
Wirelessly posted (Blackberry Bold )

GrendelQ
I don't really see it as a "back up plan" either.

I live in a country and city in which bilingualism and multilingualism is the norm. Almost everyone I know is conversationally fluent in at least 2 languages, many in three or four. (Between my 35 co-workers we knew 23different languages - a fairly typical thing)

Having additional languages has always seen as beneficial- for hearing and DHH. Here the idea of DHH infants,children and adults learning ASL & English (and French) is considered almost a "given" - the EI support services make sure that parents get accurate information about the benefits of using ASL and see first hand that using one language doesn't "inhibit" the use of another (something fortunately we're much more aware of in Canada, than in the "officially unilingual USA")
 

lucas

New Member
Actually, it seemed Lucas was saying he can't skate if he can't hear. Not sure why that is though.
-_- you guys cant put the missing pieces of the puzzle together? I usually skate with friends in the city or skatepark. None of whom are deaf. Its would be to stressfull like baseball boy said and i would not enjoy myself at all.
 

Tousi

Well-Known Member
-_- you guys cant put the missing pieces of the puzzle together? I usually skate with friends in the city or skatepark. None of whom are deaf. Its would be to stressfull like baseball boy said and i would not enjoy myself at all.
Do you plan to rectify this?
 

kellycat

New Member
A (signing/non-speaking) deaf friend of mine went to Paris. He was with a couple of hearing people and maybe one other deaf guy. When they needed directions, HE went up to the French people and got the directions. The hearing guys wouldn't go..they couldn't get a message that makes sense from the French people because they don't speak French. But the deaf guy, who also doesn't know French, was fully able to ask questions and get answers from the French. Maybe the French people were more willing to be creative with a deaf guy? Maybe the hearing guys were trying to rely on piecing together spoken words and "normal" hearing-people gestures it just didn't make a complete message.

Either way, the hearing guys were the ones who had more of a disadvantage.
 
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