Why some folks don’t go home – Upon Parental Rights and Wrongs

The Truth about Estrangement and Parental Rights and Wrongs

in a previous People of the Eye entry, we discussed testimonies of Estrangement

Below we have links to three new entries on the subject to cross my path.  if there are more – pls link me folks.

Deaf folks are the only population on the planet (as on the WHOLE WIDE WORLD)  that i know of in which the majority of its members have been denied and/or deprived of the right to a fully natural and accessible language by their own families


Later by Amy Cohen Efron at Deaf World as Eye See It http://www.deafeyeseeit.com/2011/08/24/later/

The Whiplash of Audism by Dr. Don Grushkin at Deaf Echo http://deafecho.com/2011/08/the-whiplash-of-audism/

Volume Control by DeafJeff at The Terlinguan http://theterlinguan.blogspot.com/2011/07/volume-control.html
thank u each for singing those songs of freedom
the thing that folks keep saying again and again is despite assistive listening devices – be them high end digital hearing aids and/or cochlear implants, despite speaking abilities, despite family members being sensitive and aware and willing to repeat – depsite all the kings horses and all the kings men – Deaf folks still report:
– being overlooked
– being minimized
– being shoved off to the side
– being talked to and at in very superficial manners
– being left out
while they are young things there are ways to “get by” –  the wii, dress up games, climbing trees, i assume when folks turn on the TV at auntie’s house – the captions get turned on – but watch the child carefully – watch how s/he navigates
watch how S/HE WATCHES
and for a minute turn off the sound at full play in ur mind – make it be a bunch of various sounds and thingies to be diciphered and translated and see – well that there is a bit of work ain’t it
while they child is young “it is what it is” – they know no other way of being so they go with the flow of it
that is just how life works for us amongst the other
but as s/he gets older there will be less wii and more WE and s/he will sit at the table wanting to know what Uncle Billy is talking about and who got pregnant when and why didn’t anyone tell me dad lost his job, and why did my younger sister get her driving permit before you let me, and why does Latoya plan to drop out of college and what did Migel just say to Duane
and sooner or later some one is gonna say
“i’ll tell you late”
“in a minute”
“its not important”
“doesn’t matter”
“are your Ears on?”
“well, you better turn them up.  the mapping must be really off.”
“oh did we tell you s/he will be getting the newest CIs coming out next week…” as they turn their heads away from u while they talk about u
… and the Deaf child now young adult may start to feel weak at the word “week”
weak of spirit
weak of effort
weak in importance
feel impotent
feel powerless
feel invisible
feel divisible
feel its S/HE that doesnt matter, its S/HE that isnt important
and then s/he may or may NOT – let out the silent scream
that deafening roar of all the pent up missed out bits of information that is afford every and any child on this planet – regardless of race, religion, culture, economic status, gender, IQ, and language accept for…. “the Deaf”
the very “solution” parents have been seeking or sold may in the end be the very thing that divides them from their own flesh and blood rather than binds them closer as a family because it puts the majority of the work and burden on the child and eventually s/he may grow tired and weary of it
at least that is the pattern im seeing
i also see a pattern of how the Deaf child grown into an adult – will rarely ever speak this truth to their family
they have either died a slow death of the spirit and just shut down and go through the motions or… they visit less and less frequently or…. they spend most of their time doing the dishes, playing with the babies, or on their pagers and iphones facetiming or texting with other friends in a languag they can understand without labor….  or they explode
few have the courage to sing the truth like Amy, DeafJeff, and Don and Shawn and Joey (see link at top) and others have done
and they share these truths not just to try to improve their own lot and lottery at the family table but also to ensure it never happens again for the new batch of Deaf folks
for a visual representation of THIS phenomeon – Deaf folks being strangers in their own homes and/or extended families – (which is sometimes referred to as the Dinner Table Syndrome) see Susan Dupor’s pow pow painting Family Dog
’tis a pity
making the invisible visible
peace, love, and truths,

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Don G.
    Aug 28, 2011 @ 15:25:48

    The estrangement also comes from our always told we’re in the wrong somehow — damned if you do, damned if you don’t. I tried to convey that in the story I wrote, but not sure if I managed to do it well enough.

  2. deafa
    Aug 28, 2011 @ 22:58:03

    yep, you know what, I think it is strange how people think they can solve all deaf problems with speech and hearing. Some think depression, bitterness, etc. is due to NOT able to hear. But they absolutely refuse to understand audism (or the things you just described). Just like how I once read from someone who think it is not able how well you speak, understand, write that define oral success, but how happy you are with your upbringing. That is, if you did really well, all that goes in the trash if you are not happy. Same with CI, If you did well with CI but decided against it, it is also a not a ci success. But they refuse to knowledge what the real problem.

  3. handeyes
    Sep 02, 2011 @ 00:30:21

    don – i think ur “damned if u do, damned if u don’t” is very clear in the story and that leads me to realize how optionLESS Deaf folks are – they do it both ways or anyway they are told will make them work with the system (families, schools, peers, etc) only to find out it is never enuf if equality of condition is not present

    and that ’tis a pity cuz when folks feel like they r damned if they do and damned if they dont they usually end up ending their efforts at trying cuz who wants to be AWAKE to the fact that they are damned simply for being D E A F

    ya basta

    we say



  4. handeyes
    Sep 02, 2011 @ 00:34:14


    its really cool that u r pinpointing “success” to mean “contentment and happiness and self-worth and comfort etc”

    this is a long video but i think its good – it explains how a legally blind woman spent the majority of her life “overcoming” what she was and it wasnt until she embraced her being blind that she felt free
    Added now as i forgot the link before – sorry: http://www.ted.com/talks/caroline_casey_looking_past_limits.html

    caption function is below the video box – select language then the captions will come up



  5. Maya
    Sep 05, 2011 @ 01:58:31

    Hi Patti, I want to enjoy the blog psot but I admit I am having trouble reading…maybe you are writing more like poetry or something? I will come back to it and try again later 🙂

    I nthink I understand the point though about family dysfunctional communication and deaf kids being left out. Thank you for writing about it and I will try again!

  6. handeyes
    Sep 11, 2011 @ 14:42:40

    forgot my link to the TED presentation of a legally blind woman so here is the link and for captions – click the LANGUAGE box below the video box

    Maya – thank you for your comment. re: the style of writing. yes, it is hard sometimes but you got the main point. let me know if a 2nd read goes better or any suggestions of how i can achieve the style without the hardship ; )



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