MIGRATING TO A DEAF WORLD: A MODEL FOR UNDERSTANDING THE EXPERIENCES OF HEARING PARENTS OF DEAF CHILDREN

Patricia Laing

Abstract


In this paper I use Erica’s (my profoundly deaf daughter) and my story to
illustrate how migration theory, drawn from anthropology, can be used as a model to understand the experiences of hearing parents of deaf and hearing impaired children. I have selected some aspects of migration theory for discussion including deciding to migrate, home and homelessness, language, and success stories. Photographs of the shared activities in which hearing parents and their deaf and hearing impaired children participate play an important part in this paper. They indicate the settings where hearing parents begin telling each other the stories that create our cultural position on the margins of the Deaf world. This is a position from which our children can make the final leg of the journey into the Deaf world without us, and without the trauma that many Deaf adults recount. Studying hearing parents’ experiences with their deaf and hearing impaired children has provided me with new insights into culture, language acquisition and socialisation.

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11157/sites-vol3iss1id41