First, CI cannot be compared to retinal transplant ~ we have studies done showing long term effects of such drastic surgery; and secondly, Deafness and Blindness (or other "disabilities") cannot be compared~ Deafness comes with it's own Language and Culture, much different than a physical abnormality. Let's look back on American History to find our success in curing those who don't fit with our language or culture, namely our indigenous people ... to Cure the the Heathens, the *experts* (White Catholics) wanted to *help* these pooooor peoples: 1~ take away their language + 2~ take away their culture and rites = an entire group of people with NOTHING! They're still not White (as the child will never be Hearing) and they're still not truly Indian (as the child will never be Deaf) (d=physical deafness, D=cultural deafness). Whooo hooo, we've got some great success there folks!!!!
Look at the timeline for this invasion:
Average age of diagnosis: 18 months, unless mom and dad are signing from birth, that is already an 18 month delay in language aquisition
Acceptance period for parents: 1-2 years, well past the critical first three years
THEN they get sucker punched by a doctor who, though well intended, sends the message this kid needs to be fixed. Because the CI is so overwhelming (it is not AT ALL like hearing the way we do) the doc tells parents NOT to learn to sign, NOT to sign with the kid (they will become dependant; on their native language
, the child *must* focus on learning to interpret the signals sent to the brain and how to convey those messages into spoken language (that sounds much different than the signals sent by the CI contraption)...We're talking MAJOR delays in Language, which results in??? nothing good!!! My advice to the parents would be to allow the child to acuire their native language, try it out yourself, there is no such thing as a FIX for this situation. Again if it was BY, FOR and ABOUT Deaf people, there would be no issue for us to discuss. It really is about the parents, the family, the Hearing people who want status quo. It's NOT about the kid who can't hear.
I spoke with a Deaf couple last night (he was genetically deaf and she was deaf from childhood illness), they have a grandson who has been diagnosed as hearing impaired... their dd is hearing, for her NO BIG DEAL! She already knows his language, has role models in her life for her DS to emulate and communicate with. Certainly it is easier for those of us who are already bi-lingual to be in that situation, but truly it is a matter of working as hard on accepting your child as you do in trying to fix them. Is that so much to ask of a parent?? I don't think so..
PS anyone heard the news about the FIRST Deaf Ob/Gyn? She's doing her residency in Rochester, NY