Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Waiting on the World to Change

This morning, we all went to our monthly Deaf/HOH Parent Group at Rock Creek Valley E.S. Todays program for the parents was "What is Deaf Culture?". There were 4 Deaf Panelists, and Chuck and I learned so much. It was very interesting to hear about these individual's life story, and their perspective on being deaf in the hearing world. It was a very positive experience for us...and I am so glad that we both were able to go.

Up until Christian was born, my experience with Deaf people was VERY limited. In high school, I taught skating to a group of deaf kids. I learned the ASL signs for Glide, Stop, Jump, and spin. In college, I would see some Galludet kids out at Union Station from time to time. When I was working, I would often help out the Deaf/HOH with arrangements at the various conferences, meetings, and events that I planned. But that is it. Just as it's a challenge for me not know Christian's language as well as I want to, it's also hard not being familiar with his culture. Regardless if his hearing level, whether he's aided or has CIs, if his signs, cues, or lip-reads, HE IS DEAF. I've been so worried about helping him understand, navigate and find his identity in the Deaf Community. One of the panelists today (who is deaf herself and has a deaf son), addressed this very issue, and made a wonderful point. He'll figure it out. He'll decide. And he'll see what he is comfortable with. Until he figures it out, I just want to give him access to his language, and support him.

We saw this AMAZING video today too, by the Deaf Performing Artists Network that I wanted to share...enjoy:

Waiting On the World To Change


***By the way, D-Pan is based out of MY HOMETOWN! For all you Detroiters, you'll notice a couple of our newscasters in the above video. *****************

5 comments:

Multi-talented but unemployed, J.D. said...

The greatest gift a parent can give a child is to let him be himself. I'm so proud of you and how far you have come! Love you!

Mom to Toes said...

Wow. What a moving piece! Thank you for sharing.

If it is OK, I'm going to add it to my blog.

Wendy

Anonymous said...

We loved the video and we can't wait to see all of you at Christmas! We miss you!
Love,
Emilie and John

jodi said...

Christina,
I love reading your posts because you are doing such an active job in learning about all aspects of your boy who is still only a baby. You refer to ASL as "his" language, and I know it seems like that now, but when you learn it with him and share it with him it will become your (yours and your husband's and Christian's)own way of communicating with your son - you will develop your own "family language." My experience was with Italian - I didn't speak it before Jordan was born just like you don't sign, but in learning it together it became OUR language, because language serves to help us communicate...don't be afraid to use the wrong signs or make errors, because all of that will become a part of making the language YOUR FAMILY'S. I'm willing to bet that you will start signing so much with Christian that you will sign to hearing babies by accident - that's what happens when you create a "family language." We are always scared and intimidated by the unknown, but you are a determined person and I am sure you will be signing like a champ in no time...you are really doing a great job of being a Mom...Jodi

Loudest Mom on the Block said...

I think I found your site through "Mom to Toe's", but I have to tell you that, that video was amazing. I say that as a parent to 4 deaf/HOH kids, who at this point have been reared in the AVT frame of reference. I don't regret it, and feel that it was the better choice for our family, but at the same time we have always been willing to reevaluate based on our individual children. Our youngest is 3, and all the kids (and ourselves) are still works in progress. I would love to present strong role models in the deaf/Deaf community who have chosen all different pathways, so that the kids can see that there isn't always one perfect answer. Anyway, I'm rambling, but wanted to tell you Thanks for sharing the video.

-Melissa