If you could make your deaf child hear, would you?

We’ll discuss the video on Thursday in class but we can begin the discussion here while it is fresh on our minds.

Also, look at this story over at MSNBC on “ Babies with made-to-order defects ”.

7 Responses to “If you could make your deaf child hear, would you?”

  1. BrennaC Says:

    Sound and Fury was a very eye opening movie. I always thought that if you could give your child the option to hear that everyone on the planet would. I think I would always choice to give my child the implant, but I am part of the “hearing world”. This movie really brought up a lot of questions in my mind. First I am wondering about identity…why would being deaf define a person and would a person really only be able to relate to either just the hearing or just the deaf culture? Also, is it really abuse if the deaf child does not receive the implant? How will the other family members respond to the parent’s and the child’s choice about the operation? And ultimately whose choice is it? Should the entire family be involved in the decision? The video did not really answer any of my thoughts on deaf culture, but only made me think about more complex issues. This is a very interesting subject to which maybe none of the question may ever really be answered.

  2. SaraW Says:

    I don’t mean to offend anyone, but I thought it was selfish of the deaf parents not to give Heather the cochlear implant. It seemed her parents were scared of the possibility that Heather would be able to be independent of their small family and prefer general society over the deaf one. Her parents were merely attempting to rationalize their decision by saying that Heather could make her own choice when she was older. The parents also tried to reduce some of their own responsibility by saying that Heather was an important contributor to the decision. As such a young and impressionable child, she should not have been involved in the decision making process at all. At age 5, Heather was in the tail end of the critical period for language development. Her parents were well aware that after waiting for years, the implant would be far less helpful.

  3. AlishaH Says:

    The way that society is today, I think the obvious answer to that question would be yes. Since all of do not have hearing impairments, we cannot possibly understand the point of view of those without the ability to hear. From the movie, I understood how the father of the little girl might have felt. Since I am Hindu, my culture and religion is important to me in the same way that deaf culture is important to the family in the movie. They want to preserve that culture, and expose their daughter to the life that they have always lived. However, fear is a huge factor in their lives, the parents were obviously afraid of what the cochlear implant might do to their child. Maybe the child will slowly abandon her culture and become like a normal hearing person. Nevertheless, what the parents couldnt see was by not giving her a chance to experience both cultures they were limiting what their daughter could achieve in life. In that way, they seemed selfish in their opinion. I believe that they should have given her the chance to hear.

  4. LalithaK Says:

    I think that the main concern of the parents for not wanting to give their child the implant is because they will really have no way to communicate with the child. Because of the “all speaking program” that the children are put in after getting implants, they are no longer allowed to use sign language.
    What I don’t understand is why they cannot participate in an all speaking program, yet simultaneously continue to sign. In other words, they would still be speaking everything they are communicating while signing at the same time.
    I think that if this were allowed, parents would have the reassurance that they can still communicate with their children after the implants; this may change the viewpoints and decisions of many parents.

  5. ChristyS Says:

    I honestly understand the viewpoint of the deaf parents, and if I were them I wouldn’t of given my child a cochlear implant either. Oftentimes, I think that the world just tries to solve problems without thinking about how it comes across to the very people they are trying to solve…and if we were all carbon copies of eachother what fun would that be. I understand that it seems like they are depriving their children, but I can’t get past the fact that oftentimes those who have noticible flaws can be themselves while those of us who fit in the normal crowd constantly strive to keep up the facade of that status.
    Also, life isn’t supposed to be easy…and I think sometimes when we try to fix things it becomes tangled we are after all only human- why do we think we know more than God? I know this brings my religion into it but I can’t explain how I feel without it.

    I don’t know what I would do if my child was born deaf. A part of me says that I would allow them to be deaf and another part of me says that I would want them to have the cochlear implant. The movie to me was an argument against cochlear implants. The grandma that was so for the surgery made me sick to the stomache when ever she talked. It left such a bad taste…because no matter what, she was talking to her son and her daughter -in- law who were both deaf and were functioning fine in society. To hear from your mother that you are abusing your children or that you are inadequate, unequal to the rest of the world, and judgemental is not something a person should hear from their mother..no matter what the age or the reason. I can not imagine how hurt I would be if my mother said any of those things to me about a simple surgery that doesn’t make or break a person.

  6. ChaseJ Says:

    I have to say I agree with Christy about the Grandmother, and I also agree that a lot of times the “fixers” don’t care about the feelings of those who need “fixed”. Although deafness may be something we can fix with the cochlear implant, situations and family types vary so much that it is impossible to say all people need them or visa versa. I think it remains best as it is…. an option. For the Artinians the cochlear implant wasn’t necessary, but it did end up being a valuable part of their life. On the opposite side though, while the hearing community needs to be more open to the deaf community, the deaf community needs to understand that not all doctors or people who encourage the use of a cochlear implant are out to destroy their lives. As long as both sides stay open to understanding each other, each community will be better off. After all, Peter Artinian put it well when he said that now heather interacts in both worlds… the hearing and the deaf world are now together and it has made them happier.

  7. BethanyJ Says:

    Wow, so I am in the same boat as Christy in a lot of ways. I don’t know whether or not I would give my child a cochlear implant or not. I do know I wouldn’t have the same reasons as the parents in the movie though on either side. I think if my child asked for one though, that I would do everything I could to give them one. I don’t think even a deaf person could argue that hearing people have more opportunities. Heather would not have been able to play on the volleyball or basketball team without the implant. People that are unable to hear might try to argue that you have just the same opportunities, but you don’t… that’s not up for debate, but also on the flip side they have opportunities we don’t have, and that we could never have… there is no technology to make us mentally able to understand what it is like to be born not hearing. We could learn ASL sure, but it wouldn’t be the same. Being deaf doesn’t make a person stupid and we might want to be angry at the grandma, but I don’t think she meant it the way some have taken it. I’m sure all of us have called somebody stupid in our anger, and it is one’s own insecurities that would make them say “she called me stupid because I’m deaf”. Life is not easy and there is no rule that doesn’t have an exception. I’m really glad though that we watched this movie and the sequel, they both made me think a lot.

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