There’s A Big Difference Of Acceptance Within The Hearing Community Among Deaf Children.
By Ronald Kennedy
February 1, 2023
My staff and I did a study on this topic, which by the way is a sensitive and personal one. Hearing people have the tendency to naturally look down upon and express pity for people who are deaf.
In the deaf culture, deafness is embraced and their identity is celebrated, and not regarded as a disability or genetic defect. How children with hearing disability communicate in society is a task worth undertaking, and will be uncovered.
One thing my staff & I found that a large percentage of deaf children thinks of themselves as being just as normal as you and I. They don’t want to be looked at as some type of disabled freak. But we know kids will be kids and tend to be somewhat cruel.
Many folks have many unanswered questions regarding the deaf culture. Hopefully, within this article, you’ll find the answers you’ve been seeking:
What is the difference between hearing culture and deaf culture?
This notable difference is based on the modality of language input used within each culture; hearing culture focuses on the auditory modality and therefore is sensitive to noise. In contrast, Deaf culture focuses on the visual modality, which is not sensitive to auditory noise.
How does deafness fit into the social model?
The medical model looks at deafness as a disability that needs to be fixed via medical treatments or surgical intervention, while the social model sees deaf people as experts on their own requirements, believing they should be respected and valued as individuals. Later, you start to ask yourself; “How hearing loss affects families in our global society”
How are the deaf incorporated into society?
Members of the Deaf community in America use a different language – American Sign Language (ASL) – connect them to others who are Deaf, it also serves as a membership card into a linguistic subculture of our society that not everyone is privileged to enjoy.
Can a hearing person be part of Deaf culture?
Members of the Deaf community include deaf and hearing people. (Including hearing family members, interpreters, ASL teachers, etc) that share in the culture and use ASL.
It’s also important to note that, in certain situations, hearing people can be a part of deaf culture. This is generally the case when a hearing child is born to deaf parents. These children often hold the same values and worldviews as other members of the deaf community, despite the fact that they are hearing.
How does hearing impairment affect social development?
It has been suggested that children with a hearing impairment are more likely to report feeling isolated and not have as many friends which can affect their self-confidence and their social interaction skills. Their academic performance may be affected too.
Teachers And Administrators:
Educators showing care and concern
Teachers and administrators will have a profound impact on your deaf child. Teachers have daily contact with the student and are intimately involved in the development of the student’s academic life, linguistic ability, and social self-esteem.
Administrators set the tone of a program with policy-making and financial backing. A supportive teacher will attend to both your youngster’s specific academic and communication needs.
Many public school teachers have not had much contact with these type of children and need information about how to interact with your youngster.
Teachers of the deaf will have more specific training for working with deaf children, however, they may vary greatly in their communication skills, communication philosophy, and teaching approaches.
Meet with teachers and administrators before your student begins classes. Neighborhood children might form friendships with your kid; however, over time, and as cliques develop, the hearing impaired is more likely to be ostracized. You start to question can deafness be cured? Then you think about all the children with hearing problems.
Situations With School Bus Drivers:
Time to take notice
Most hearing impaired kids could tell you a multitude of stories about their school bus drivers. Some drivers go out of their way to make your kid feel safe and secure, while others actually yell and curse.
Some drivers treat the hearing impaired youngster with kid glove, while others give special gifts and treats to the boys and girls. The driver who frighten the student do so out of their own discomfort, lack of good boundaries, or inability to sense what is appropriate behavior.
Many drivers form healthy friendships with the child while many others overstep their bounds. The school, the teachers, and you should take a lead role in educating the bus drivers in handling hearing impaired youngsters.
The public briefly glimpse your child. Depending on the circumstances and the individuals you come into contact with, you may cause questioning looks, looks of curiosity, confused responses, genuine interest, or cruel mocking.
In the past, hearing impaired youngsters have suffered many negative experiences at the hands of the ignorant hearing public. Movies, TV commercials, special reports, news, and weekly series have all begun to show deafness and American Sign Language in a positive light.
This has fortunately altered the way the people view individuals suffering from hearing loss.
However, many people remain ignorant or insensitive about deafness. How to sign with love is important for those communicating with the young. Your youngster must learn, over time, how to deal with the various reactions he receives in safe ways that maintain his or her self-integrity.
Talents measured with disabilities
Your youngster has a particular talent, such as being a good athlete, his peers may seek him out as a friend because of that talent.
If he or she has other difficulties (hyperactivity or learning problems, for example) or is perceived as different by his or her peers, they may have trouble building friendships.
Neighborhood adults can play a vital role in setting the tone for interaction among children. Let trusted adults know how to communicate with your child. In fact, include these people as an integral part of your family’s activities if possible.
Invite them to join you in planned activities. (especially those that highlight and teach about the positive aspects of deafness). Local business can serve as your child’s practice ground for interacting with the public.
Educate local merchants about how to handle your student. Let the salespeople know how to communicate with your youngster, inform them that you will often let your kid handle interactions; and, above all, encourage them to treat your hearing impaired youngster as they would any other boy or girl.
Responsibility And Communication:
An up-most important move
Deaf people are often characterized as “immature.” This means, in part, that on the average they have less general information, that their goals tend to be short – rather than long – range, and that they may be less likely than hearing persons to think through the consequences of their actions.
Although these impressions may not be surprising, there seems to be a little reason to believe that immaturity is inevitable; the lack of early communication within the family is cause enough for restricted growth because it deprives deaf children of the learning opportunities that are taken for granted with hearing children.
This “immaturity” is largely, if not completely, preventable. It is also important for deaf children to be given responsibility. A comparison study of 120 deal children and their families with the same number of hearing children and their families was made in the Greater Vancouver area.
Parents were asked to check off the independent activities they would permit their child to engage in. Deaf children were allowed to do less than hearing children of the same age.
It seems that to be deaf with hearing parents may mean that you will be overprotected and denied an important area of development. Sometimes the fact that deaf children can accept responsibility is not understood.
Deaf adults often report that they missed much of what was said in a hearing family: ‘why’ things happen, ‘why’ you are allowed to do something at one time and not at another, and ‘why’ people feel and react the way they do.
Seeing that deaf persons can accept responsibility should help you to present your child with reasonable expectations and to see the need for early two-way communication that will enable you to give explanations when you are asked “why?”
A total communication approach fosters inclusion of your deaf child in family activities.
Remember: The real problem with a hearing loss is not the loss itself, but the barrier to communication it creates and the stress you may experience if you do not address it.