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Thursday, September 03, 2009


mama d

FWIW: We get the same kind of reaction from the visually impaired (VI) community when we don't force our kids to use a cane. The teacher for the visually impaired (TVI) in our district wouldn't even listen to me when I mentioned our son's ability to draw, with proper scale and perspective, buildings he'd only seen once. This is one of the many reasons why he isn't in her program full time. ANOTHER decision met with sighs, eye rolls, and repeated, "are you SURE?"s.


I would ask anyone who thinks they know what oral schools are like (based on their experience or that of a friend who went), to come and visit Ohio Valley Voices. Yes, I know oral schools were hard (I'm being nice) if you went 20-60 years ago. But that is not the experience that happens at OVV. I have talked with several people, including Jazzie's deaf mentor, and all "knew" how terrible ALL oral schools for the deaf are.

Times change, often for the better.

Lou Ellen

Hear, hear!

Tricia Hogan

You did what was right for Jazzie. What I don't understand and I don't mean to be negative with the Deaf community, but if they don't want to hear with the assistance of a CI, why would they put this video to music?? I'm just trying to understand both points of view.


Sandra - I think you know my thoughts on this topic. But I challenge anyone who questions CI to vist Jazzie's school and I know that their eyes will be opened as well as tearful and utterly amazed.


I just don't understand why some people feel they need to reflect their opinions onto other people.....or judge others for their personal decisions. You chose to do what was right for your family, end of story!


Sorry you have to deal with the negativity of Jazzie's CI. Our son is deaf and has a unilateral CI. We are actually working on getting his 2nd implant. I know this is such a personal experience, but we signed and spoke to our son and took him to the Deaf school within weeks of adopting him. The parents at the school made it pretty clear, well the majority, that they did not want my son there and felt he was taking resources away from their deaf children. It was hard to hear these things, but I also understood that their world view is based upon their experiences and a desire to have what they felt was the best for their family.

However, our son does not like to sign and prefers to speak even though he is almost 4 and was not implanted until he was almost 3 - so his speech is about at a 2 year old level. Let me repeat, he does NOT like to sign to communicate and wants to use his voice. We gave him the option. As he gets older, he may change his mind and that is fine, but for now this is what he wants.

Anyway, we follow your blog bcs your family is such a wonderful example in so many ways - not just CIs!! I am glad that you are not bothered by these comments and am so thankful you are willing to share your life with us.


It amazes me that someone out there really feels they can challenge a mother, like yourself, on what is best for your daughter. We as parents are our childrens advocates, and its clear to alot of us who follow your blog you always have the best interest of your children in mind.I for one am always happy you share your good and bad of everyday life. Its keeping it real.


You do what is best for your child. I'm not sure why folks feel it is their right or obligation to question or judge what others do. I admire your outlook on things!


I've never understood why some people find the need to voice their unwanted negative opinions to people over the internet. I try as hard as I can to live by - if you can't find anything nice to say, you shouldn't say anything at all.
I'm curious what the motivation would be to email you with such a comment anyway. Regardless of whether they agree with CI's or not you have already made your decision and followed through with it. Nothing anyone says will change that so I'd imagine all this person is trying to do is stir up trouble and give you grief which is just so sad and unfair.
I've probably mentioned before that I have read your blog forever and I think you are an amazing mom who very clearly loves your daughters desperately. I think you have given a wonderful gift to Jazzie and I hope no one is ever able to make you doubt that.

P.S. - I'm glad to hear all of you are feeling better!


I've been reading your blog for a LONG time now and have followed your challenges, decisions, etc. Some people feel it's their place in this world to chastise others for the decisions we make. Unfortunately, that will never change. I am proud of your for defending your decisions as it's not always an easy thing to do.

There are advances everywhere we look and new ones lie ahead. How on earth does someone expect us to be able to keep moving forward if we neglect the "tools" (h/t to Two Kayaks) that are presented. Without my glasses I wouldn't be able to see to drive. Without being able to drive I couldn't go to work. Shoot, if I didn't have my glasses I couldn't do this job. Without work I couldn't make my mortgage, etc. That sounds silly, I'm sure, but it's the take I got from your emailer. We make advances in science, medicine, etc. by using what there is and improving on it. That's what studies and research and grants are for. Some people are fine living under a mushroom and keeping their heads buried. Jazzie has the chance to know both worlds; majority of us can't say that. One takes a little more to navigate through for her, but look at all she's done in her short life.

Your children are bright, beautiful children who thrive in their environment. There's no one to say had you made other choices for them that their lives would be any better...or worse, for that matter. Besides, you're the mommy and you said so. For everyone else, DELETE. :)

Kristen A.

I believe you are a wonderful mother who did what is best for your child. Making decisions for children is never easy and I applaud your efforts.


I'm sorry that you seem to receive negative comments on your blog about your choices. We are adopting a little boy from China who is deaf and if the tests show he can receive Cochlear Implants we plan on implanting. We do plan on sending him to the deaf school because he will be 7.

Thank you for blogging because I have learned so much from you! :)

Billy Koch

Heya - those kind of attitudes do not reflect the whole deaf community. Because I know plenty of DEAF individuals who have CI. I, myself have a CI and I am from a deaf family - my father has a CI as well. I do think it is a great technology and it is definitely a much more powerful hearing aid.

But truth be told - granted we are granted the opportunity to hear better. Granted I can do things more than I can in the past. But I am still deaf, I do hear perfectly like a hearing person. Even my physician and audiologist has said to me you will never be like a hearing person and I accepted that. But at least I can talk on the phone (with most people I can, but with accents I cant). I can hear music quite well - still working on the words but with so much music in the background its a challenge.

But the only way I would see a child/person being deprived from the culture is if they were not granted an opportunity to interact with other deaf peers and to learn their language. I know there is alot of argument that one should never teach a CI child sign language but I often say - why it is okay to teach a hearing child sign language but not a deaf/ci child? Why is it okay for someone from a hispanic ethnic to speak spanish and english to their child. Children are so much more capable of learning multiple languages. If they are granted that opportunity then he/she receives the BEST of both worlds! :) *sign language do come effective when the CI is broken, or the child decides they dont want to "LISTEN" to you anymore and turn their heads - and boom sign to them what you got to say - so no escape! :)


I do not have a deaf child so I don't have a true perspective on this. As a parent, you get to do what is right for your child. It is nobody's business that you decided to get a cochlear implant for Jazzie! I hope for her sake that as she grows older there will be technology that allows her to hear in the tub and while swimming too. =)

On a side note, I work with someone that lost their hearing as an adult and spent nearly 10 years without it before just recently having a cochlear implant. This person is delighted to be able to hear again. Who could ever think that is wrong? :(


It occurred to me that even sign language is a "tool" to help deaf people communicate/function in the world. How is a CI any different? That makes NO sense. It shouldn't matter WHAT tool is used to function in the world. Some wear glasses or contacts, some have prosthetic limbs, some use wheelchairs, walkers or crutches, some used cochlear implants, and some sign. No one seems concerned about the wheelchair or the contacts, what's the difference? As parents, we do the best we can do for our kids. You've made your decision for your children, I've made my decision for my children, and there is no wrong, only what is best for that child. The beauty of the CI is that if our kids want to not use it when they are adults, fine. They have options. I for one can't imagine our lives without the's such a blessing to us. I'm sure you feel the same don't let these narrow minded people get to you. They need to be out there showing opposition to the other "tools" as well, or keep their thoughts to themselves because it's all the same...all are tools to help people function, communicate and have quality of life.


I don't understand the perspective that says you're doing something wrong when you use medical technology to restore more normalcy to your child's life. There are all sorts of life events and medical issues that could happen to my kids and we'd be irresponsible if we just shrugged and said "this must be the way they were meant to be". Heck, we might have never adopted them in the first place because they obviously were already part of an orphanage family.

My Maddy had a cleft palate. Would the person who sent you that email think we should be ashamed of ourselves for having it repaired?

Like I said, I just don't understand that perspective.



It is so sad how instead of a community supporting each other, they tear each other down and take sides. I see it in this adoption community and now I see it in the deaf community. You decided on what was best for your family and your child and no one should knock you for that. You are amazing parents and people should shut it and clean their own backyards before they criticize others. I do not see how it can be a detriment as Miss J is flourishing and thriving. If her implants help her, then what is bad about that?

I had a thought of what type of life she would have had had she stayed in China and not be a part of your family and have the opportunities she has to live and to hear.

Why do people need to bring others down? I will never understand that.

Keep smilin!


You know you made the RIGHT choice for Jazzie. I don't understand deaf people who feel this way. Maybe some of them are bitter that they did not take the chance and now are stuck and cannot change their minds.

You have 2 beautiful daughters!
Jazzie is and always will be deaf, even with cochlear implant(s)
She will always be able to be part of the deaf community(those deaf people whom respect the choices of parents) there are deaf people out there who respect CI's, you just have to find them

Two Kayaks

Perhaps I am completely naive, but I don't get it. I mean, I wear glasses to help me see properly and I can't imagine anyone denying me the chance to use these "tools" to help me. If Jazzie can have the opportunity to hear through the help of the Cochlear Implants, then why not use them?
The thing is, everyone makes decisions for their families based on what is best for THEM, not based on what is best for others. Anyone who knows you and Matt (either through this blog or otherwise) knows that you are two of the most thoughtful parents out there. You don't make decisions lightly and take everything into consideration when you do. It's horrible that others feel the need to judge you based on their own issues.

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