Karl and all the King’s Horses…

Dr. Karl White & All the Kings Horses and All the Kings Men…

So we come to see that the audist systems (systems that believe that to hear and/or behave as a Hearing person is superior to being Deaf) have thrown everything at the Deaf child and still the results are lukewarm at best.  It’s because they approach the Deaf infant, child, youth, and adult as if they were a shattered egg that can only be brought back together again by means of making the individual as Hearing-like as possible.


when they gonna realize that bio-diversity rocks and rolls as does freedom?

re: Hearingization of the Deaf – That has been tried throughout time

again and again and again.

And each time they rave about the newest and the bestest and greatest and –

–       still Deaf Oral kids graduating from mainstream programs with less than stellar reading & writing skills

–       Still Deaf Oral youth & adults still needing and wanting visual access to spoken information via captioning and CART

–       Still Deaf Oral folks growing up to wish they had ASL as children

–       Still Deaf Oral folks not going home during the holidays cuz it’s a drag to have to try to conform to parents expectation that you be something you are not – ie Hearing

–       Still more and more research is showing Deaf peoples’ natural visual acuity and the POWer of the bilingual brain

–       Still more and more research is showing the benefits of baby signs with all infants and toddlers (Hearing and *gasp* Deaf babies)

So if we want to see what all the Kings horses and all the Kings men have been up to to make Deaf children as Hearing-like as possible we only need to look at Dr. Karl White’s Early Intervention for Children with Permanent Hearing Loss: Finishing the EHDI Revolution in The Volta Review, Volume 106(3), 2006, p. 237-258

Dr. Karl has been on his white horse making that revelation a reality for almost a decade now and what has he got to show for it?  hmmm?

Basically it’s a missive and a call for the eradication of biodiversity and language diversity.  It is a display of a feverish bent towards all things hearing and a disdain for all things capital D and ASL – ie Dr. White no like multilingualism-multiculturalism.

Bias, prejudice, linguicism, audism, eugenics – yep that is what the kings be playing at.

Dr. White asserts the importance of getting ‘em early – fresh out of the womb early.  He is BIG on newborn Hearing testing despite the fact that many of them are false positives and false negatives and despite the fact that really there is NO reason the parents need to worry about this on the very DAY OF THEIR CHILD’S BIRTH.  It is beyond traumatic for some parents to be greeted by a technician or hospital staff to be told their child has failed (or the current euphemism “is referred”) and needs to be tested again in three month. Traumatic because its not information they need to know in the delivery room.  It really is NOT.  Especially considering the baby’s ears have been submerged for 9 month and s/he is just adjusting to being out and about and the reliability of the testing is not 100% so why bother?  Why not wait for their regular 3 month old check up at the doctors office?  Hmmmm?

Why plant that worry and upset on the day that should be one of the most happiest moments in the parents’ lives?  hmmmm?  is it really about getting the babies early or about getting the parents early?

Why have those glossy cochlear implant brochures right there and ready on the maternity ward?  Why pressure Deaf and Hearing parents into feeling like there is something wrong and unwanted with their beautiful newborn?  (and yes Deaf parents and Hearing parents who are like – Deaf baby – “no problem.  We’ll sign” are greeted with lots of doomsday messages of a hopeless future if technology is not tapped into asap).

Not only has Dr. White spent decades pushing the development of the gadgets to test the newborn hearing and the promotion of their use in all hospitals in the US – he has also taken to peddling the goods aboard as a “humanitarian act.”

In the Finishing the EHDI Revolution paper – Dr. White makes it clear that the newborn should be tested so that intervention can begin as soon as possible.  Yes 3 month old for testing is not soon enough in his opinion.  (it is noteworthy that Cochlear LTD of Australia already implanted a three month old infant the results of which we can not find any glossy article or news story about several years out).  Dr. White explains in the article how folks want EARLY early early intervention due to “deafness” affecting language, social and cognitive development.  He does not note that there is a PERFECTLY good and useful language that could be provided to Deaf (and Hearing) infants that does not require prodding, poking, testing, sedating, operating, etc.

Dr. White cites his own center (NCHAM – National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management) when explaining that newborn screening was at 3% in 1993 and jumped to 93% in 2005 and explains that “the number of children under age 5 receiving cochlear implants has more than quadrupled in the last five years to over 2,000 children per year (NCHAM, 2006c)”

ie – the newborn Hearing testing (the D in ehdi) is a feeder pipe to implanting.

He also states that since kids are getting CI and high-end hearing aids earlier, it will save thousands of dollars in special education services.  The only problem with this information is – it is not true.   It has not really proven to be the case.  While mainstreaming and cochlear implants are clearly the majority, Deaf students are still requiring additional support (CART, interpreters, teachers of the Deaf, clinical services etc) especially in middle school and high school where classes become more challenging.   Rather than saving costs – the EHDI push has increased costs – cochlear implant devices and accessories, cochlear implant surgeries (of which there will be many over the lifetime of one child), intensive therapy which is ongoing, oral schools, public schools with teachers of the Deaf, interpreters, note takers, CART, etc, Deaf schools when the kids hit adolescence and can stand tall enough to say NO and enough, etc.

Dr. White laments about the lack of services for early intervention after not passing the hearing test and having surgery or being fitted for high end hearing aids, indicates that even with all the speech and audiology follow up, still more kings’ horses and men are required.

He then pulls out parts from IDEA Part C that emphasizes the cost of special education and special institutions and pushes for mainstreaming.  He then goes on assert that the probability of developmental delays due to a child’s “hearing loss” are high and thus states should argue strongly for intervention services.  This is probably why Dr. White wrote an article with Nelson and Grewe trying to discredit baby signs.  Baby signs have been proven to help Hearing and Deaf children’s language, social and cognitive development; yet, Dr. Karl White does not put baby signs and ASL front and center in his EHDI Revolution.  He goes on at length about the importance of Part C for EHDI; yet, the Department of Education does not appear to have representation and involvement in EHDI conferences of which Dr. White is a coordinator of.

Dr. White states in his paper “According to the JCIH (2000), almost all infants and children with permanent hearing loss need some form of assistive listening device (either hearing aids or a cochlear implant) for early intervention services to be effective.”

Note: those items are not required if the early intervention involves ASL.

your bias is busted Dr. Karl (and yes we saw how you used the cute video of the two signing boys to try to pretend you recognized ASL for early intervention but then you played it up like the boys had been with ASL parents since babies and thus there model wouldnt be applicable to most Deaf children as they come from Hearing parents.  I was mighty pleased to see the Hearing mom of those sweet bilingual boys set the record straight – that they did not have immediate exposure to ASL having been born in China and adopted later.  Yo stop trying to minimize, discredit, and diminish ASL as a very ESSENTIAL part of early intervention, Dr. Karl (ya busted – ur bias is sooo showing buddy).

Dr. White goes on to cite the JCIH some more “Without auditory input and consistent early intervention programs that focus on teaching language, DHH children almost always lag behind their peers in language, cognitive and social-emotional development (JCIH, 2000).”

This is not true if the intervention is ASL.  See Petitto’s research and many many others.

He also mentions the “half of all deaf children graduate from high school with a fourth grade reading level or less” – which is old and misstated.

He doesn’t mention that while CI have been around for decades now and there was that quadruple jump in Deaf kids being implanted and 86% of all Deaf kids are mainstreamed – the literacy rate of Deaf kids still lag behind Hearing kids.

All the kings horses and all the kings men folks…

ie wake up.  they be selling u false prophecies for profit for a mighty long time

Dr. White discusses the “costs to society” of Deaf people – which is creepily reminiscent of the eugenics program in Nazi Germany so he really should back off of that.  Especially since in the long term all the early detection, intervention, implantation, and mainstreaming are not gleaning the results he is promising – cost saving they are not.  He uses the “cost saving” argument and the “fix ‘em young” principle to argue that high end hearing aids should be covered under Part C.  Note – NO SUGGESTION of ASL instruction and materials being covered on Part C.

Dr. White discusses stakeholders which he means to be pediatricians, family physician, neonatologist and ear, nose and throat specialists – NOT Deaf folks themselves.   He is concerned that they (the specialists and professionals) don’t advocate that hearing devices be worn as early as 1 month old.  (i had trouble fitting my kids with cloth diapers at one month – i cant imagine trying to keep hearing aids or cochlear implants in place while nursing and wiping up messes – newborns are very messy)

He also cites the JCIH sharing that only 9% of professionals indicated they would refer the child to a geneticist.  Oh gosh Karl.  you are really amazing me with this article.  Your love affair with the JCIH and all things eugenic-like are like WOW.   So uncool.

That whole page is a bit Brave New World-ish.  Social and psychological engineering – he has got.

NOTE – Dr. White’s expertise and training is not in audiology or speech pathology or hearing device technology.  Those are just the wares he is peddling.  His expertise is really in psychology.  Ahh – now are you all waking up a bit?

In this “revolution” paper – Dr. White repeatedly plays the town crier of “the Cochlear Implants are coming, the cochlear implants are coming.”  He asserts that due to the increase in early detection and early intervention via cochlear implantation, the “revolution” needs to be finished by getting funding from Part C for devices and clinical services, having more teacher training programs be oral / aural in orientation and having health care professionals trained about oral /aural only intervention.

“Completing the EHDI revolution will require systematic and sustained attention to providing comprehensive, up-to-date early intervention services to children identified through newborn hearing screening programs.”

All of this without any attention given to the importance of visual language (and tactile if Deafblind).  And he calls himself neutral and unbiased.  WOW.

Karl White.  Might does not make right.

We are the stake holders because we know what is at stake.  LIVES karl.  Real Lives.  Lives that have the right not to have to work for their words all their waking hours.

We don’t need no kings horses nor kings men to be put back together again – we were fine from the beginning.  You just need to believe us.  WE ARE THE STAKEHOLDERS and we have detected you have a hearing problem and this is part of your intervention.  With your position and profession, you have an obligation to ensure that EHDI is about a Early Healthy Deaf identity.  And if you can not work to this end, you should resign.

im sure i have typos and will hopefully tidy up soon – for those of u who made it this far – thank you and congrats and see you at the real revolution.

NOTE: as always – the people place is not a space for bashing – truths and feelings are welcome.  Dissing the Dr. based on what he may or may have not signed before a video started recording is not the issue.  the facts and nothing but ’em.  and love.  Love is always good.

link to petition for Dr. White to resign from EHDI.   http://www.change.org/petitions/resign-dr-karl-white-from-ehdi-and-leave-the-deaf-community


4 thoughts on “Karl and all the King’s Horses…

  1. Very thoughtful article…although you state some provocative ideas, they are backed up by the recent literature that you cited.

    Here is one more: (thanks to Facebook chatter for bringing this up)

    Elliot Smith, Scott Duede, Sara Hanrahan, Tyler Davis, Paul House, Bradley Greger. Seeing Is Believing: Neural Representations of Visual Stimuli in Human Auditory Cortex Correlate with Illusory Auditory Perceptions. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (9): e73148 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0073148

    This paper explains the McGurk Effect, an old observation that somehow was not discussed in its applications to Deaf education. This is the finding that when presented with an ambiguous visual plus auditory stimuli, people will select the visual input over the auditory one.

    We need personal stories of parents today in how they were approached and handled in their babies being identified to illustrate the points you have made. Are we able to reach these parents, both Deaf and hearing? This would be the most effective way to show the profound influence of the medical paradigm as opposed to the cultural or educational paradigms.

  2. thanks diane for ur comment and that study. will check it out

    did u see the study about the placebo effect with hearing aid users? the studied a bunch of folks with hearing aids then told them they were giving them brand new high powered fancy fancy hearing aids and tested them again and the folks performed BETTER but they were actually the same hearing aids

    psychology is a powerful thing

    there is also a placebo effect on parents too – especially after their child has undergone expensive and questionable surgery

    someone should definitely examine the pseudo-science of “hearing sciences”

    even all the “stem cell cure, stem cell cure” town crier stuff is bonky bs. its not gonna be workable or usable for another 20 years and even then it will not be a cure for the profoundly Deaf

    every body should be asking why dont we ever see any HARD evidence on how well EARLY ci implantation works with born Deaf babies?

    there is no data to show that it WORKS well to the point they are selling (removes any risk of language cognitive or social delay) so for them to push CI over ASL (a fully natural, accessible, and HUMANE language) is unconscionable

    REALLY FOLKS. There is NO justifying their unjust, unnatural, inhumane, unethical, immoral, WRONG push for oral / aural only – especially in this day and age.

    they will throw more and more techno bs and pseudo-science at us and still – the FACTS are – there is nothing wrong with being Deaf and those “miracles” are not “miraculous” nor are they “cures”

    wake up folks

    karl has been orchestrating the 2nd wave of oralism (he runs NCHAM and Sound Beginnings at USU, has an oral /aural teacher training program there and also LSL program there, runs the EHDI conferences where he has Deaf grandmothers with Deaf grand babies thrown out of public places and suppress free speech and assembly, he is involved in JCIH, he is involved in newborn screening, etc

    he has been CREATING the demand so he can provide the supply

    he has been pushing a “solution” in search of a problem when in fact there is nothing wrong with being Deaf

    audism is the problem and Dr. Karl White should be working to combat THAT. but instead he has been one of its chief promoters.

    not cool karl. not cool.

    …. and Deaf folks (especially Deaf white women professionals have been AIDING and ABATING the bloke. DIVEST NOW pls.)

    … and other Deaf folks only care about switched at birth or dissing other groups and have not engaged in any direct peaceful confrontation to try to stop the tsunami of Oralism from wiping out our future generations of Deaf kids

    stop swallowing all his false prophecies for profit folks and STAND

    before its too late

    and Dr. Karl White – i wanna see Dr. Humphries et al paper on the harms of CI and language deprivation front and center on the NCHAM website as a sign of u becoming a wee less biased in favor of all things auditory and oral



  3. You stated, “…In this “revolution” paper – Dr. White repeatedly plays the town crier of “the Cochlear Implants are coming, the cochlear implants are coming.” He asserts that due to the increase in early detection and early intervention via cochlear implantation, the “revolution” needs to be finished by…, having more teacher training programs be oral / aural in orientation…”

    Exactly how much more oral/aural can “Teacher Training Programs” be when said DHH Teachers Certification basic requirements include ONLY ONE SEMESTER CLASS in ASL!?!?!

    Mr. White is not a friend if DHH Children nor of their families! If he truly was and he truly cared about changing outcomes in educational success for our kids, he would drop his personal bias against ASL and stop the national propagation of his lies, half-truths, fearmongering, and Audism!

  4. Redsmom – thanks for your comment. Yep ASL is almost no where to be seen in Deaf education programs and in the LSL speech pathology and audiology courses – if is there its just so they can communicate w Deaf parents / clients – not because is a language to be developed and respected in their programs

    A G Bell the man was very opposed to training Deaf people to be teachers – to the point where he testified at a congressional hearing against giving Gallaudet appropriations for a teacher training program if the admitted Deaf people

    Bigotry ain’t cool

    And yep Karl is proving to be very Bell like in caring more about the methods and means than about the CHILDREN


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