L O V E in American Sign Language
Every one in this world has their identity, culture and language. It’s such a beautiful thing. Each one of us loves to hear stories, or travel to different part of world to learn about the history of people, embrace and learn different language, rich culture. It’s never tiresome. There’s so much to learn and that’s what make the life even more beautiful and an even more exciting journey.
About 90% of Deaf parents have hearing children. Also, 90% of Deaf children are given birth by hearing parents. Deaf children are naturally intuitive about a beautiful language called American Sign Language (ASL). It is not a part of race or ethnicity. It’s all diversity. Interesting to look at it this way: when the Deaf parents have hearing children, they make sure that those children are being taken care of such as putting them in excellent school nearby it’s home.

They also teach them sign language, culture and their customs. Those kids become bilingual, tend to be more intelligent and develop more abstract thinking and visual language. Overall, their aspect of life itself is richer.

Hearing children of Deaf adults are known as Child/ren of Deaf Adult (CODA) are very well taken care of and end up having a wonderful life and excellent in job fields such as interpreting, higher education and so forth. They are being afforded a good life. However it is the opposite for Deaf children with hearing parents. The majority refuses to accept that their child or children are Deaf. They also refuse to embrace the culture and learn ASL to give their children the opportunity of being part of the Deaf community. Basically they’ll do anything to “fix their child”.

Raising children without education to focus on their auditory and speaking skills can cause delay in education. This also destroys their true identity and the ability to acquire their culture. 99% of times, when Deaf children growing up, they ended up finding their true identity as Deaf and acquire ASL that hearing parents try so hard to make their children into something they are not and that is not natural, it never will be.

There are many cases where the child grows up with many issues including things such as insecurities, inability to provide for themselves, and so forth because of coddling by their parents. Later in life, Deaf adults end up struggling with getting out of their parents nest and they end up becoming something they aren’t: freeloaders. Living off on Social Security is embarrassing for many Deaf people and yet they think they have no choice. (People’s hard earned money going to them).

We  are often called “freeloaders” by the hearing community just because that’s how they view us. It is a double whammy and extremely unfair to those that were put in this situation by their parents. Whose fault is this?

First, it would be those hearing parents that don’t enable their children to be independent. They are to blame for causing this, but when Deaf children grow up, it’s also their responsibility to stop their parents and stand up. They should say to their parents, “Stop, I can do this!” It is a very difficult journey for many Deaf adults. Why should they have to suffer when hearing children aren’t. Deaf parents take good care of them. There is no requirement for Deaf parents to know anything about hearing culture to help their children. CODAs acquire spoken language at school, phone calls with hearing relatives, friends from school, etc.

Hearing parents of Deaf children doesn’t use the resources available to them that at all. While sometimes hearing parents have no idea where to find these resources, they don’t put for the effort an expect everything to be handed to them. Why is that type of attitude an excuse for children falling behind?

This problem has been going on for YEARS, that vicious oppresive cycle which is called audism  is an never-ending cycle. There are so many ignorant hearing parents that don’t know how to avoid that process or what to do with Deaf children. There’s a saying, “Google is your best friend” use it! There are no valid reasons for a parent to be making terrible choices in their decision making process by taking away their child’s true identity and language. While Google isn’t always the answer, there are resources available out there. Why can’t parents call Gallaudet University or look at the list of Deaf schools in U.S. to find one near their house. These places can help parents to see what need to be done to ensure that their children are going to be able to acquire their own culture and language and to thrive to be a successful individual? 

With the high percentage of hearing parents doing what many hearing parents do, taking away their child’s identity, culture, and language through ignorance, if it was such a big problem there would have been a solution by now. We have news for you, we are not the problem, you are. Three out of four children born to hearing parents with the gene (is a dominate gene) will be deaf. While it is a dominate gene, it can also be hidden for generations before coming out.

It is out of your power and control. The best thing for parents is to get rid of that mentality and attitude that causes the refusal to accept what the reality is. A hearing person invented five senses but is it ok that this hearing person invented 5 senses and then classified us as a disability? Our skill set as humans are not limited to our five senses, why is it necessary to classify people by what senses they are missing?

Hearing people are the ones with a disability, it’s just an socially based disability and they just don’t identify themselves as such. While we have the right to classify you as socially disabled, we are much more tolerant to people that are different because of how you treat us. It is your attitude, indeed. There are many Deaf parents of Deaf children that are success in life, going to University, got their degree and work for higher pay job in education, business and etc.

If Deaf parents can take care of hearing and Deaf children better than you, why isn’t that an option? If you refused to accept your child and still think there’s a solution somewhere, perhaps you’d be better off giving up your child. How about this proposal, there should be an adoption agency to focus on giving up Deaf children for adoption to deaf parents.

As a parent that is distraught by your child’s “condition” you can come to the agency and let them know that you have a Deaf child that you want to give up for adoption. The agency would find you a match for age and race to match your child’s general appearance and do a trade. Allow the Deaf community to take care of them. Part of the agreement is that we would be allowed to let them know that you refused accept them because they were Deaf.

This would solve your “problem” and world’s problem. While it isn’t a problem for us Deaf parents raising hearing children, apparently the “better community” can’t handle the challenge. When are oppressive parents going to learn? Now is the time to stop, start to treating Deaf children as if they were normal because they are normal. They are much more than what you think they are. Either way, accept and embrace with love or you don’t and still be a terrible, terrible and terrible, perhaps earn yourself a “Hall of Shame” parent award. You decide.

Written by Jasun Hicks