Deaf Family Finds Themselves Torn Between Deaf and Hearing Worlds (Part 4)

Uploaded by Paro77777 on 05.12.2009

communicate. I want. No. No. She says I want to hear. Same as you. What is that? So am
I lying? You're really pushing me. Stop pushing me. I want to push for her. Heather is an
exception. She's extremely bright. She's a perfect candidate for cochlear. I'll decide
what's best for Heather. I'm her father. But that's your daughter. Don't you want the best?
I know what's best for her. No you don't. I know what I'm doing. In my opinion you don't
know what's best for her. You're worried about what other people will think. I know what
you went through growing up. I know the frustrations you have. No you don't. You don't have any
idea what I went through. You don't know what it's like to be deaf. Peter. Peter. I walked
through the supermarkets with you in a basket. And the people looking at you with hearing
aides and making fun of you. I don't care what hearing people think! Peter you don't
understand. You weren't there. You didn't experience it. You did not experience it as
a parent. She will suffer more. That's your thinking. No. It's not my thinking. Talk to
the educators. Go to the conferences. The deaf world is changing. Look at me Ma. Are
you telling me I don't have a successful life? You've had a tough life. Look at me now. What
do you think? Look you're my son. I've raised you from when you were a little boy and I
love you. Oh come on. You're changing your whole attitude. I'm not changing my whole
attitude. Oh really? If you were born today tomorrow you would go to the Doctor for a
cochlear implant. Thank God. I don't want an implant. You don't need a cochlear. If
you don't want it don't take it. So what? Everybody's trying to pressure me. I could
care less what you do. Chris did I complain to you? Did I complain to you about your decision?
Did I? Did I say a word to you? I'm not going to get angry because it's your daughter. Did
I complain about? Did I complain to you? If you want to do that to your daughter that's
your issue. Heather is my child and I am not being closed minded. Hearing people have their
own way of looking at things. I have a deaf family. That is my life. She's always giving
me a hard time. Peter. Peter. All I'm telling you as a parent and as a grandparent you are
choosing a tough road for Heather. I'm the parent. You're not the parent. I said grandparent.
I'm the one who makes the decisions. I said if you will understand... This is my decision!
Peter... I never knew that you really didn't accept deaffness until now! Peter. You only
want to see what you want to see. It's obvious that you don't accept it. I would die for
her. It's just a gamble. It's not a gamble. It is. Years ago it was a gamble. It is not
a gamble now. Breaks my heart because I know what she's going to go through. They don't
realize it. They don't know what the future holds for her. The frustrations that they
went through they don't remember because they were too young but I saw the isolation. I
saw them being ignored because they were deaf because people couldn't communicate with them
and I don't blame the hearing world for that. I mean they are a minority. The hearing world
is not going to learn their sign language. I don't want to make Heather hearing. I want
to make her life easier. I can accept her deafness what bothers me is it could be easier
for her. Hearing people think that deafness is limiting that we can't succeed. I say no
way! No way! Look at me. I'm deaf and I'm successful. I work with computers with Solomon
Smith Barney on Walstreet. I have to face the hearing world everyday at work. And it's
tough. I'm dependent on emails and interpreters and to be honest sometimes yeah I do feel
limited. But the hearing world can be very very selfish. There's a lot of discrimination
against deaf people. Monday morning we'll have a new configuration of cubes and we'll
move back in. The honest truth is I probably can't go that much further up the corporate
ladder. Mom you know we're going further with the implant. Next week Peter's going to the
audiologist for tests and then he'll definitely get the cochlear implant in January. A friend
of mine asked me why he's getting it. I told him you wanted it and they were very surprised.
He feels sorry for him. What can I do? You mean you were embarassed about what other
people will say about it? I'm embarassed because you're making him hearing so he'll speak well.
My family is all hearing and he's the only one who's deaf. His aunts and uncles are all
deaf. He has a big deaf family. It doesn't matter. It does matter. I want him to have
the opportunity to be anything he wants to be. You're such a lousy daughter.. Mom says
I'm a lousy daughter!! She just said that! Oh.. Nooo Noo Oh Stop that!! She said I'm
a lousy daughter because I want to implant my son. How do you feel? How do I feel? Yes
Dad.. How do you feel? Do you think I'm a lousy daughter? No. No. No. Who's lousy? Mary
my daughter. My friends wonder why a person like her who helps deaf people.. Who even
interprets for deaf people wouldn't love her own child even if he's born deaf? A mother
should love her child the way he is. Deaf people think that the hearing people are trying
to make them hearing. Not true. I don't mean to insult you but people have to realize that
the world is changing. It's not to hurt deaf people. It's to help I know it's hard for
deaf people to accept this because it's like the floor has been pulled out from underneath
a deaf person. I understand that. But you still can't stop the future. You can't stop
progress from happening. Like frankenstein. Monsters. Today when parents find out their
child is deaf they don't know what to do with the child and they just force an implant upon
them. These parents are selfish. My opinion is if you're born deaf that's it. You're right.
I agree with you. Now you're all going to come after me. We have decided to give our
son Peter a cochlear implant. I want to give my son the opportunity to live in both worlds.
You feel that deaf people are inferior so you want to implant your child in the hope
that he will have a chance in the future. Is that what you're thinking? It's not because
we think deaf people are limited. It's because the world's view of deaf people makes things
more difficult. Well look at me. I work for the New York Times. I've been a supervisor
for 25 hearing people for the past five years and I am deaf. I'm an informant on my job
and I control the whole shop. My boss can't live without me and I'm stone deaf. A child
is not a guinea pig. I think that the parent that forces an implant on their child is not
considering that child's feelings. The body belongs to the child. The parents can ask
the child then if he wants an implant. But this is teh best age for him to get an implant.
So he'll have the best opportunity to learn speech and language. If we wait until he's
fifteen it will be too late. You know. We're not taking his deafness away. He'll know he's
deaf. I'll teach him his deaf culture. Do we think the implant can kill deaf culture,
yes or no? Yes. Yes. Once someone is implanted then he will migrate into the hearing world
and won't bother with the deaf world. We can't determine what would've happened if the technology
would've been available a long time ago. Who know? Maybe we'd all have implants. Who knows?
Pretty soon. We will look like robots. Not all deaf people can develop good speech and
sound like hearing people. Maybe just twenty percent. So deaf culture will persist for
many many more years. Deaf culture is wonderful. I think at times they're right maybe I am
betraying all I know. I still am torn because I took it as a sign from this woman as look
this child is just like me. There's nothing wrong. He's part of our world. Leave him alone
and that kills me. That kills me but at the same time I want the best for my child and
I want to give him the best opportunity that I can. And the only way I know how is that
there's this technology that will enable him to become more functional in the hearing world.
The path is to hear. That's the path. That's what the world is like outside. Dad I know
what you think about the cochlear implant. I really do but it seems to me that you just
don't trust my judgement. At one time you were going to go for the cochlear implant.
Okay? When Nita went to find out if she could have it done and found out it maybe too late.
Everything went the other way. It changed your mind. You don't know that. Well she's
not doing it is she? Yeah but