Failure | VEDIM


Hello, I’m Rogan and welcome to day 11 of VEDIM! Today’s post is more of a question and I want to start a discussion in the comments below. This is something that’s bothered me for, well, forever. And it bothers a lot of other Deaf people too. What is it? You know when you go to the hospital and give birth to a baby, they will automatically do testing. Like making sure it’s healthy, their hearing, other health tests, right when the baby is born. In the past, around the 90s and before, they didn’t do that with hearing tests. That’s why so many people my age, in their 20s, didn’t find out we were deaf until two, three years old. Yes. Sometimes three years old. It was mostly because of no history of deaf people in the family, or the child was sick but wasn’t tested, or the mother was sick. Several different factors play into why the discovery is delayed. Now, it’s always immediately when a baby is born. Then a second testing again a few months later to see if it was because of recent birth ear blockage, earwax, etc. That’s not what bothers me. What really bothers me is the fact that once they’ve done with that test, the first thing they tell parents? “I’m sorry, your child failed the hearing test.” Why that word, “failed?” Why? How can they fail at something they were never able to do in the first place? They’re only three hours old, that’s it! They already failed at something? That’s not a good way to start things off with parents. Doctors cause heartbreak because they already failed something. Please! Deafness is not something to demonize. Plenty of Deaf people lead full and happy lives. I think that approach really needs to change. I honestly don’t know what would be a better phrase to say. That’s why I want to start a discussion below. Instead of saying “sorry, your child failed the hearing test.” Maybe something simple, like “Your child is deaf.” No “fail,” “hearing loss,” none of that. Don’t focus on the negatives. They didn’t even have loss–that’s another thing. “Hearing loss.” How can you lose something that you never even had to begin with? I think that particular terminology is a little erroneous. I think it should be replaced, like, just simple and direct, “your child is deaf or hard of hearing.” That’s it. Period. Just not able to hear, but not focusing on the “not” and “can’t.” Be direct rather than beating around the bush or making it something extremely negative from the get-go. Plus, I think that doctors need to be better at referring parents to actual resources. Because, excuse my language, but they don’t know sh*t about hearing. They’re not trained in understanding hearing. Audiologists are specialized in hearing, yes, but they also don’t really offer all of the options. TOO often, the medical field focuses on fixing the “problems.” Being Deaf is not a problem, if you confront it right away with providing sign language. Yes, I understand some parents have a hard time learning because they’re busy or whatever. But if you really care about your child, you will learn language for your child. SO MUCH research proves that, and Deaf people have known this for a long time, the earlier you give a child language, the better. So why can’t you give sign language? I’m not saying sign language only. If you want to teach your child how to speak, go ahead! But I implore you, have them learn sign as well. Speaking does not work for every child, but sign does. If the child wants to speak, they will speak. If they don’t want to speak, they won’t. There’s nothing you can do about that.

Okay. Yeah, that’s my rant. I didn’t plan this out, I had just that one thought: hearing loss, and failed the hearing test. What do you think about this? Leave it in the comments, and I hope you enjoyed this post? If you want to support me making content, I have a Patreon and ko-fi, follow me on my socials. All links are in the linked video. Thanks for reading, see you tomorrow!

Published by Rogan Shannon

Hello there! I'm Rogan, a queer deaf guy who has a passion for leadership and advocacy. I create YouTube videos about a lot of different topics - being deaf, queer, reading, language, and whatever else interests me!

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