Deaf Parent of a Implanted Child
I am a Deaf parent of a Deaf child with a CI. He uses both ASL and spoken English and is part of both Deaf community and hearing community. He is not fixed as CI is only a tool like a hearing aid. He is still Deaf when not wearing his CI. He is very happy and loves using CI. I am glad I made the right decision for him when I gave him a CI when he was nearly 2 yrs old. He was born profoundly deaf and didn't benefit from hearing aids. It was the most difficult decision I ever had to make but I did all the research and met many parents of implanted children and adults with CI. I used to be ignorant about CI and didn't believe in it tillI had to open my mind about all the options for my child. The benefits of CI go downhill if a profoundly deaf child gets implanted after age 3 or 4.
I understand a lot of hearing parents are in favor of CI for their deaf children and I don't blame them as I also came from a hearing family and it wasn't always easy to communicate with them although they signed but weren't very fluent in ASL.
Now my Deaf child could speak and hear very well with a CI almost like a hearing person and also could sign ASL very well as a Deaf person. So he is taking advantage of both Deaf and hearing worlds. I don't understand why most Deaf parents refuse to give a CI to their deaf children as an opportunity to hear and speak well at an early age in addition to ASL. They may be still ignorant about CI and aren't interested in researching on it at all. They could be afraid of surgery and other risks. The surgery risks are very low and There are still a lot of CI myths in the Deaf community and I keep trying to educate them but it s not always easy.
We have to respect every parent's decison for their deaf child as they know them best. I respect most Deaf parents who don't want to implant their deaf children and that is their decision. I also respect most hearing parents who implant their deaf children as long as they are committed to their rehab after the CI surgery. That would be wonderful if they are willing to learn some sign language, too.
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