The Gap

by DWD

The gap between HOH and Deaf in mainstream school

I am the mother of a child with hearing loss. My son has been through aggressive auditory verbal therapy and wears the best hearing aids we can find. He was diagnosed as profoundly deaf at birth.

I have recently been reading a lot of blogs and articles about the gap between Hard of Hearing and Deaf. I have come to see that my son falls in the “Not Deaf Enough” category even though he was diagnosed as Profoundly Deaf at birth.
He wears hearing aids and speaks orally…and quite well at that.

I have been trying to understand why schools do not want to give kids like him the services they need. Why they seem to want him either mainstreamed with no assistance or in a Deaf school with sign as his communication.

He was born to typically hearing parents and sees himself as a hearing person even though it is a daily struggle for him. He does not attend a school for the deaf nor does he sign. This is not a judgment on sign or Deaf Culture. We chose a path that was right for our family and worked for our son.

Why does the world want kids with hearing loss in one of two places? I have been wondering this when there seems to be a very wide spectrum of ideas and options available. His former TOD (which is a very misleading title because he is not deaf and she is not his teacher) wants to dismiss him from services. She told me that I am over the top. Why would a TOD want to dismiss a child with severe hearing loss from services I have wondered? Why am I over the top? I buy his hearing aids and pay for all his audiology appointments. I bought his FM system. I ask for basic things in the classroom (for examples I had to have a signed note from an audiologist to get the school to agree that oral spelling tests in the classroom are unfair for someone with severe hearing loss. We had to fight just to get his spelling tests one on one in a quiet location.)
I have come to see that many people are not ready for kids like him to bridge the gap. They feel better if deaf kids are in a deaf school speaking in sign language. He simply is not deaf enough to fit her idea of what a deaf kid should be. He gets straight A’s, he does very well in speaking with his friends…these are the reasons she gives for dismissal…. These are the reasons why the accommodations are working.

Equal access to education should be easy but it is not.

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