November 18, 2016

To whom it may concern:

Admittedly,  I am the annoying mom at school. The one who asks all the questions, brings up all the concerns with the administrators.  I want answers. When I go to the Doctor and he prescribes a medication to my child, I don't say, "Okay". I ask, "WHY". Why do they need it? Is there something else that might be better? Is it necessary? What else might we try? Thankfully I have a wonderful doctor who lets me be, ME. So when I have a child at school, specialized or not, I ask a lot of questions. No one, is going to tell me what is best for my child. No one, is going to make decisions for my child. That blessing was given to me and my husband,  alone. I listen to the advice given from those that work with them, educate them. Then, I do some reaserch. I talk with other parents. I try to educate  myself so that I can make a decision for my child with confidence. I want to know that it is the right decision, FOR THEM. It may not be the decision the professionals would make for them, or the same they would make for their own child. Probably not even the decision another parent would make in a similar situation. But, I know my child best!! I have this bond, this connection with them that no one else has. Most parents would agree to having the same gift.

So when I am faced with people who don't like the mode I have chosen to raise my deaf child,or don't agree with MY decisions for them, it frustrates me. This is my child. Not their child.  I don't believe that we have to agree on how to raise our deaf/hh child. But we do need to respect each others decisions.

I have observed young deaf children as young as 6 month old communicate with their deaf or hearing parents. I see children everyday that communicate effectively and can focus on learning because they have language. They have friends, love and support. I can also recognize how well a cochlear implant can work. It is amazing technology.  A better than better hearing aide. A tool.  But it is not for my family. If, when, my child grows and makes that decision for herself, I will support her. For now, let us focus on who they are. How they are doing. Where they are going. If we see that changes need to be made, make them. Let's celebrate their success together. But please, don't force us into being enemies. We can all work together so that each of our children get what they need. Succeed through confidence, teamwork, and support.  Any child can be successful if they have the right support. Take it away and you are setting them up to fail.

We all have something in common. We all have a child with a hearing loss.We will do whatever it takes to ensure their success. We may choose different paths, but our goal is the same.

November 6, 2016

#Why I sign

Every now and then my third kiddo struggles with going to sleep. Usually because something is on her mind and she needs to chat. We have had many late night, late for her, conversations. Our most recent was about the upcoming presidential campaign. We discussed the candidates and who I thought I would vote for. We discussed gun control and building walls to keep people out. We discussed the funny "name signs" for our current choices and then our conversation took a slight turn.

"Mom" she says "I am going to be president and tell everyone they must learn sign language. All the hearing people will have to use ASL so we can all talk and be friends."

I love this kid.

#Why I Sign

September 16, 2011


Amid all the frustration I find myself dealing with, I realize that I need to take some time and give credit where credit is due.

It has never been my intent to use my blog to vent. Too often I think we, parents of deaf children, feel that raising a deaf child is a constant battle. That it is me against the world!! As my daughter grows, those battles become less and less. The reason, a wonderful staff at a humble school.

My daughter attends the local state school for the deaf.  By many standards it is not the best school, but anyone can learn from the hard work and dedication of its staff and teachers.  We have been there for, almost 7 years. I have seen many changes, many improvements.

We have a remarkable and dedicated superintendent that believes in giving our kiddos the tools they need to be successful. She always makes time to listen to my concerns and follows up to see that things are taken care of. We have dedicated teachers who work long hours to find new tools and new ways to encourage and support these amazing children. They take pride in what they do knowing they are doing something meaningful. Yet are humble enough to know they can always improve.

I am forever grateful for all they have done. Not only for my deaf child, but my entire family. Their love and dedication will be forever in our hearts!!

September 14, 2011


(All the comments in grey I have actually heard from other parents. They have said much worse. Thankfully I am a nice person. And "shut-up" is a swear word in my home.)

My family attended a local car show a couple weeks ago. We allowed the children the use of the camera to capture their favorite vehicle. My oldest took the pictures head on. He wants to see the motor under the hood, or the motor sticking OUT of the hood. My second child takes pictures from the side of the vehicle. She wants a good view of the "pretty" car. My third child stands back at the corner of the vehicle to get a good shot of both the front and side of the car. My youngest, well, we're lucky if we know what the picture is of.

"Well, all non-oral deaf live on SSI."

Everyone has a different perspective on what is right and what is not. I would never thumb through those photos and tell my child their view was bad, or wrong. It is their view. Their decision of what is best. Their end goal is the same: to enjoy the picture later.

"I knew that if my child was going to learn to read, they had to know how to speak."

All parents have a vision, their perspective of what they feel is the best method for raising their deaf child. Even parents with the same philosophy on deafness will see different ways to accomplish their goal: having an educated, confident child, who feels loved. Comparing notes is not a bad idea, but accept that your views and opinions may not be shared. Support what works, and throw out what doesn't. Most of all, show respect.

"You can't have a meaningful relationship without a voice."

I appreciate your "concern" for my child. Lets keep in mind that it is, in fact, my child. I am not abusing her by not forcing her to speak. I am not neglecting her by not putting her hearing aids on everyday. She is not missing anything by living in a silent world. She is beautiful, educated, excels in math and sports. She makes people laugh, smile, giggle and feel good about themselves. She is confident. She is amazing. She is mine. 

"You can't get a good education at that deaf school." 

 We chose to raise her "deaf". Do I wish she could talk? Sometimes. But then I look at her, and she smiles, and I know she is happy!

"Your daughter really struggles sitting still. ADD right?"  
(let me point out that she does not have ADD, ADHD or Autism)

April 24, 2011

LIfe for the Better!!

When we found out our daughter was deaf our lives changed forever. Not for the worse, maybe just for the different. But, because she is deaf, the captioning is always on, we know two languages, we drive 20 min further to church even though there is a building 5 minutes away. We can talk to each other across a crowded gym without raising our voice. I know way more about the ear than I ever thought possible. We go through more light bulbs than most families, I hear a few laughs at that one,  and we laugh every time someone says "Your house must be real quiet having a deaf child." Hahahah, little do they know, she is my loudest one. 

But there are other things, more significant things, that make life....... BETTER, having a deaf child. I now have a greater appreciation for those looking out for the needs of others.  An appreciation for a Scout leader who, with limited sign language, always makes sure my daughter is included in her brothers pack meetings. I have been  introduced to a community I love and never knew existed. Appreciate the love of a grandpa who struggles to wrap his aged, arthritic, fingers around a steering wheel, develop a bond with a little girl that is unbreakable. A family that supports and loves a little girl that, for the most part, they can not communicate with and a church that supports my decision in raising my child DEAF. 

I love the life my daughter has introduced me to. So while our lives have changed dramatically, it has been a wonderful, welcomed, roller coaster of a ride with all the ups and downs you can imagine, and I wouldn't change it for anything!

April 11, 2011


Our children's "Firsts" are so exciting to experience!  Their first bite of food, their first steps, first tooth, first word, first..........   As parents we all experience those firsts.  Then we have those "other" firsts. You know, the ones that mean something only to us. The ones no one else understands and maybe even think are little bit silly.  Today was one of those "other" firsts.  And for us, this first was important and will go down in history forever. 

A couple weeks ago on Saturday morning our family prepared for General conference. This is a semi-annual event in our home. We stay home and through the wonderful advances of technology, we listen to, or watch, the leaders of our church offer guidance, encouragement, and inspiration. We had been talking about it for a few days, reminding the children that church was at home for the weekend. That morning, the children woke up, had their breakfast, gathered their homework given to them in primary the week before and went down stairs. All of them but, our 6 year old. She headed up stairs. My husband and  I figured she would be down momentarily and we followed the others to the family room. Sure enough, a few minutes later she came down the stairs, her arms full, with daddy's laptop. He asked her what she was doing with his laptop, and started to explain why we don't touch daddy's laptop. Without waiting for him to finish and with a very serious expression on her face, she responded, "We are watching conference. I need the interpreter! I don't understand them, they are talking. I need that (laptop) to watch the interpreter for church!

We were in awe! She is 6 years old. Typically we do everything to in our power to ensure her participation in things. We leave the captioning on, attend church with a deaf congregation, interpret for her when needed or hire interpreters. She attends a deaf school and has play dates as often as she wants with her school peers. We also attend as many deaf community events as we can.

On this particular day, knowing her 6 year old self would not pay a lot of attention, we decided to let the interpreter go, and just watch with the caption. We will never take that attitude again! This is one of those firsts.  The ones that make us sit back and smile.  She is advocating for herself, and it was wonderful!

April 1, 2011

My Dream is to be a Mom.

A readers comment prompted this post.

I grew up in a strong religious family. My dream was to be a mom. Maybe a teacher one day. But mostly a mom. It is what I saw and what I knew. It is what the women in my "culture" did.
Many communities or cultures have young ones that grow up this way. Becoming the examples they see.  For the most part there is nothing wrong with following these paths. But if you aspire to be more, and you don't know what the "more" is, how do you know to go for it. My concerns are for more than my child. My concern is for all deaf children who want to be something more than they see. They all deserve the same opportunities as anyone else. A friend shared a conversation with me that took place between her and her son. I hope she doesn't mind my relaying it. She was trying to encourage him in his school studies, and he said something like "Why does it matter, if I am only ever going to work in the back room at TARGET". If the only examples our deaf children have for work are hidden back rooms, why would they strive for more. I would love to see more deaf professional reach out and mentor our young deaf. Tell them to keep reaching and never stop fighting. They can achieve anything with the right support and encouragement!