hmmmm what happens w/o lang. and culture
just a couple of famous psychosocial development charts for us to consider when examining the unexamined – what happens when a babe is routinely denied the right to a fully natural language and culture and the right to be… Deaf?????
None of the theories below really mention language because language is an automatic given EXCEPT in extreme neglect or abuse cases (ie Genie and the wild boy of Aveyon – Victor and other feral children cases) By and large LANGUAGE is an inalienable right and bare necessity afforded to all children ….except for Deaf children who are routinely denied a fully natural and accessible language under the cloak of doing what is “best” for them (dang ole mask of benevolence) – forever made to “work for their words”
yep there are actually folks out there saying – you have to deny your child the right to a fully natural and accessible language in order to HELP her/him function in society (just yesterday someone told me their parents were required to sign a form that they would raise their child oral / aural ONLY or the doctor would not give them a cochlear implant. – ahh parental choice!)
now just a few hallmark theories in which we should be asking – what happens if language and identity formation are actively devoid or denied?
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need:
Click the image and ask yourself what happens to all the higher building blocks when an infant is routinely denied her/his physiological need of language and forever made to work for her/his words?
Erikson’s 8 Stages of Human Psychosocial Development:
You can see how each stage is set as a VS. – a this or a that – a conflict and those stages can and do affect the next and the next and the next etc. But the important notion is one of CHOICE and being equipped and free to make our OWN choices. Unfortunately that is not always the choice for most Deaf children because they are being denied language to understand and be understood by and because they are having devices implanted in them that are stimulus / response conditioning based and now operated by remote control by others (parents, teachers, aides, speech pathologists, audiologists, – everybody but them and its THEIR body)
Erikson’s 8 Stages and Agents of Socialization that influence and interact with these stages:
And you can see from the charts below that the main agents of socialization help determine which way we go in those stages of conflict – to the light or the darkness. don’t believe me? just check out Harlow’s study with monkeys of the terry cloth vs. wire & milk fame (google Harlow monkey youtube and you will get many clips demonstrating the effect of that experiment had on the wee things throughout their development)
we wont even get into the fact that parents are being pressured to put their kids under to get one implant by 1 years old then a 2nd one before 2 years old.
we wont discuss the psychological impact that has on the baby nor the possibility of placebo effect on the parents.
Nor will we discuss the FDA commissioned Mayo Clinic study that shows an alarming increase in the rate of LEARNING DISABILITIES in kids that had two or more surgerys with anethesia befor the age of 2.
Nor will we discuss the affect of remote controlled cochlear implants on infants and toddlers who might later be found to be autistic – what kind of affect is that constant barage of artificial sound, mapping, testing, proding, and prompting, stimulus-response gonna have on a child of whom auditory stimulation can be VERY disorienting and disturbing. (note: with the universal newborn screening Deaf babies are detected quick like a bunny where as the signs of autism are usually not noted until 2 – 4 years old when many of them have already been implanted)
Cooley’s Looking Glass Self Theory:
Basically Cooley’s theory is how others see me is how i see myself and the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy theory is an extension of that – if folks tell me I’m a looser and I start to see myself as a looser then I start to set myself up for failure and fulfill that prophecy of my looserness (can go the opposite way too – if folks tell me im g-d incarnate, i start to believe im the bomb on crack and doing really bonky things. this is why its good to have folks around u that will simply tell u the truth – you are beautiful and there is room for improvement ; ) always
There are more theories and experiments that have some bearings on our collective experience – Milgram and Zimbardo’s studies on power, obedience, learned helplessness and abuse come to mind. Operant condition – OY! Stereotype threats and social norming also have some application here. But what we have here now is a pretty good start me think and yes i totally wish someone would create a chart or theory hand tailored to the Deaf experience. We do have N. Glickman and Maxwell-McCaw examination of Deaf identity formation but that is largely borrowed from other minority group models (Cross etc) – and I’ve never seen any drawing or chart.
Pictures – me like pictures. Feed me Feed me – I’m hungry – smile. Pictures and chart help us see the big picture and perhaps leap a little higher and better as we jump at da sun. So we come up with our own theory – not adapted or measured by Dominant societies standards but rather something of, by and for US.
Truth and love always win – think of it always (loosely from Gandhi)