(TraverseCity, Michigan, US)
I'm a student studying ASL in high school. I found the article to be quite interesting watching your view point on the cochlear implant change from 100% against it, to falling through the cracks while you considered it for your son.
I can see the struggle in a parent's eyes, trying to figure out if they should get a cochlear implant for their child. I find the self-battle to be intriguing.
I, myself, have a wavering stance on the subject as well as you do. Although I've never found myself in any given situation that had to have me figure out if I should get an implant or not, due to my already having the ability of hearing. But, I have read numerous stories and watch a few videos on the subject. Controversy is obviously strong with this ever growing issue of the cochlear implant.
For me, it's hard to understand how a deaf person might feel in the deaf world, since I'm not, but I've always admired those who love it dearly. I have a great feeling that if I were to have gone deaf at birth, or early childhood stages (between 0-5) I wouldn't get an implant. I'd embrace the inability to hear with open arms. I love the deaf culture. However, I'm not so sure I'd object to getting an implant if I were to go deaf right now. Speaking is such a huge part in my life right now, not really for any particular reason other than my entire family and my whole friend group is hearing. Communication is vital in my life, as it is in anyone else's. But, hearing is more important to me than speaking for one reason... I've grown up with music. Music has become quite important to me when I started hitting a rough patch in my life and instead of doing what most teens do, and turn to drugs/alcohol.... I turned to music. I can honestly believe that when any person I've met says that "music is my life," I can say that it's far more important to me than to them. I'm absolutely positive I'd be able to function in the deaf world, had I not ever discovered the importance of music in my life.
So, with that, I'd instantly ask my parents to get me an implant if I were to go deaf right now or anytime in the future.
Personally, that's my opinion on the matter, if I were to be faced with it.
and I stand the same way if I were to be a parent to a deaf child. If my child were to be born deaf, she/he would stay deaf until they're older and wise enough to make their own decisions. If my child were to have gone deaf at an older than five years of age, I'd highly consider getting an implant due to them growing up with speaking and hearing communication rather than growing up with ASL.
My opinion may be of that sort, but I do encourage adults to consider the implant because I think it'd be an amazing experience to have heard something at one point or another. This means no disrespect to the deaf culture, I highly admire it, as already stated. But, I think it'd change their lives if they heard something, but still used ASL.
that's my opinion :)