Kat Reading

Kat Reading

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Book Review

When I was sitting in my adviser's office, registering for classes last week, I noticed she had a pile of the book "If a Tree falls". I asked her if the book was any good, and she said yes, and that she was assigning it as reading in one of her graduate classes. She asked if I would like to borrow a copy, and I said sure. I took it and had finished it in less than 24 hours.

I remember when this book was first published. It was 2010, and in the advertising it said that the parents had made a "controversial decision" about how to go forward with language and learning when they discovered that their to daughter were deaf, and deaf from a genetic condition that was throughout their family history. When I heard that, I was like, "Wow, they must decide to forgo the implant and use ASL." Well, nope. Don't mean to spoil it for anyone, but they end with with a CI, and listening and spoken language. I guess they would have been making the decision in 2004, so maybe it seemed more controversial then (but I doubt it). Plus, their older daughter was already attending Clarke Northampton, so it is not like they were alone on this journey, unable to find support or understanding for their choices...

Don't get me wrong, I fully understand how difficult a decision it is to implant your child. I mean, we did it just a few years ago! And I know how heart-wrenching decisions about language and schooling can be. Our family still struggles, and will until Miss Kat is old enough to decide for herself. But, to call choosing spoken language and cochlear implants "controversial" today? In the hearing world? I don't really think so.

Other than that, I thought the book was nice. It was an interesting story, very heart-felt and truthful. I could feel the emotions the mother was going through, and I ached for her. I would recommend it for anyone. It is a nice easy read, and a good introduction for people who have never been a parent of a deaf child, or if you are one, it is always lovely to hear the story of another!


Anonymous said...

I'd venture to guess that, yes, the decision was significantly more controversial nearly a decade ago than it is today.

More importantly, you ask whether implantation can even be controversial at all "in the hearing world" now, to which the answer is, probably not. But if you are willing to consider the larger question without biases (toward thinking your choice for your child is automatically the right choice for every child, or toward a perspective that "the hearing world" is the right, only, or even a homogeneous world in and of itself) then the answer is yes, there's probably a bit of diversity--that is, diverging opinions--out there yet. Don't worry, you'll be rid of us soon enough.

PS- To suggest that it is a failing of a book to disagree with your own opinion (and that of your friends and the people with which you've surrounded yourself) sounds a little close-minded. You know, that thing you accuse "deaf militants" of being all the time?

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Deaf centerist said...

I used to think you trolled the internet nitpicking, starting semantic debates, etc. injecting yourself into every conversation that discussed a view of ASL-based or bilingual education, the favoured "Deaf Bully" label at the ready.
But now that I read this--seeing you be a contrary and a little rude toward a person who agrees with you and has made the same choice for her child as you have for yours--I feel a little better.