Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A chat with a teacher/mother of the deaf

Today I decided to finally make that call to the mother of 2 deaf girls who are in their late 30's.The mother had gone through a lot as she was not fortunate to get the help that is available now.She educated herself in the field and somehow managed to get her girls married and they are communicating in half developed language but mainly use signs as the language is too limited.I asked her opinions on this and she too said sign is now recognised as the language of the deaf only if they are not able to develop language for reasons like late detection, inadequate hearing aids, not good speech therapy and above it parent's {read mother's} hard work.She said that people who have had early intervention and have undergone AVT like me and mothers have put in untiring hours of work with the child to develop speech and language and made sure the child is leading a normal life , does not need to learn signs. I put in a point to it- if i am more fluent in my mother tongue and not in English, the moment I meet a person who has the same issue , we would shift to our mother tongue.So like that, a child who is deaf and is brought up in AVT, and also learns signs, given a choice , he would shift to signs where he comes across a deaf signing child. But if he does not know signs and is only oral, he would react the same way to deaf signing person as a normal person would to the deaf person.If speech is not developed even after a lot of efforts, due to what ever reasons, sign language is the best way of communicating.My mind was clear about it but I felt it is always better to know about it from people who are into the field and are exposed to both kinds of methods.The lady has been a very dedicated person in this field and follows a middle path. If detected early, hearing aids put, she advises them to auditory verbal , but if detected late or language is not able to be developed, advises signs.These are people , who you know are leading us onto a right track.

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