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Sound & Fury Part 2

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(piano music playing in the background with people lightly talking in the background… ...door opens then shuts and music stops) Dr. Parisier: With a cochlear implant the child will be able to hear. There are some children who are so profoundly deaf that they really don't get a whole lot of benefits from a hearing aid. And in those children we're able to restore a good deal of hearing by performing the sofical procedure during which we insert an electrode into the snail like portion of the child's inner ear the cochlear. Assistant Doctor: The younger, the better and why because when children um, are younger their learning language and it becomes a much more natural process then trying to learn language later on. Dr. Parisier: When we do a cochlear implant in a...a 18 month old, that child is able to hear, develop speech and relates not to deaf people but to hearing people. When he was first diagnosed and the...the dialogist had said, "Oh he's an implant kind". Um our, our view was no way. We've heard, ya know the implant isn't that successful. It's really ya know, don't even bother looking into it. Then what amounts start trickling down to us that maybe we should investigate it. Guide: In this classroom there are several children who were born deaf came in through our infant program had had a...birth. Received cochlear implants at 2 1/5, 3 years of age and enough is enough preschool program for a couple of years(door slams in the background). And these children are getting ready to go into kindergarten next year. Chris: Wow... Mari: Oh, right over there Guide: Hello... Teacher: Hi... Guide: Hello Teacher: Hi say hi hi (children say hi) loud, loud now hi, hi, hi... Teacher: Ok everybody is going to have a turn Ok Aright. Shelby can you a tell..ask everybody... is everybody ready? Shelby: Everybody are you ready? Teacher: Go ahead... Shelby: (Shelby sings) Good morning, good morning. How are you, how are you? Mari: Shelby, was she born deaf? Guide: Ok Shelby was born deaf and she was implanted I believe at about 2 1/2 years of age. Mari: And how old is she now? Guide: She was 5 last December. Mari: So in 2 1/2 years her speech has gotten that well. Guide: Right, right and of course when her implant is not on, she's a deaf child again. Mari: Right Chris: Right, right (Teacher talks in background) Teacher: Say how are you Karena? Shelby: How are you Karena? Teacher: How are you? Karena: I'm fine, thank you. Teacher: Ok, good Mari: When we saw those kids, I was fiber gassed. These kids could hear. Lindsay: How are you, Karena?... Peter: The idea of this cochlear implant surgery, so scary. It's so invasive (kids yelling in the background: "It's my turn") They drill through the skull and have to go very deeply inside. I'm afraid that cochlear implants are going to create a bunch of robots. It just doesn't seem right for a deaf person because our natural communication is signing and being in the deaf world. (Piano music plays softly in the background) When I was a child and when my parents spoke, I was completely lost. I would watch their gestures and their body language, but I had no idea what they were saying. I could hardly communicate with them at all, but finally I learned sign language and I think that's when my life really began. (Music continues to play in the background) Peter: English is just moving lips, it has no meaning for me. But sign is so visual, it's got a motion I can communicate for the first time. (music still continues...noise of signing, children laughing making gesture noises) Peter: My fear is that if Heather were implanted she wouldn’t be part of the deaf world or the hearing world. She would be part of some cochlear implant world. When Heather plays with her hearing friends, she does get frustrated. She turns to her Mother and me and asks what they’re saying, well we don’t know either, were deaf too. I feel so helpless. (Heather yells in background: ahhhha) She wants to communicate with them so badly. So she says she wants a cochlear implant now. Tina: Why do you want a cochlear implant now? Heather: Because I want to hear everything. Nita: Everything? Heather: I need to hear alarms, smoke detectors for fire and what else... Nita: Many different things. Heather: A saw, nails being hammered into wood, the telephone, a saw cutting down a tree, cars crashing, horns beeping, beep beep and what else…hear all the people talking in Florida and in New York. Tina: (laughing) Different states huh? (Tina and Heather giggle together) Tina: I was close minded before. I didn’t like the cochlear implant I thought it didn’t fit with the deaf world, but then I remembered what it was like for me as a child. I grew up in a family where I was the only deaf person and where the whole town was hearing. It was very frustrating, I never learned how to speak and I felt like an outcast. (Heather makes noise in background: bah bah ah bah) Tina: I don’t want Heather to have to go through the same frustrations that I had did. Heather: bah bah bahhh bah bahhh Peter: I’m willing to look into it, but she’s my daughter and I don’t want her to get hurt. I don’t want her to be disappointed; I just want to make sure that Heather is happy. If she’s happy, I’m happy. (Deaf noise talking in background). Heather: I will talk and I will sign, my friends will be both deaf and hearing, I will try to share things with both deaf and hearing people (then giggles). Peter: Heather told us that if she learns to speak she’ll help us and then I realized she’ll always be involved with us. She knows that even though she gets a cochlear implant she’ll always be deaf. Mari: If your child was blind and if there was a surgery to, to, to give them eye sight, would you do it? And I…I know even my parents would say they would do it in a heartbeat. Well if you would do that, why wouldn’t you wanna offer it, your child the best and…and give them an implant. (deaf noise in the background) I’m the oldest of three children; my parents are both profoundly deaf. I had to go speech therapists for many, many years. To learn how to speak because I spoke like a deaf child. and I would get the ridicules of kids saying nasty things about my parents and the way they spoke. Michael: (Deaf noise saying ok, ok) Mari: I would have to interpret for them; I would have to be their advocate. I didn’t have a childhood I…I grew up very fast. When I became older I sort of rebelled against my parents, I tried for so long to get away from deaf culture and tried so long to not be involved. And then I had a child who was deaf, so I think God prepared me for…for this challenge. Mari: We made a decision. We’ve decided to give peter a cochlear implant and put him in an all speaking program, not one that teaches sign language. Nancy: You’re forcing him. Peter doesn’t know what it means he can’t hear. Mari: I’m not forcing him, I’m giving him opportunities there’s a difference. Michael: (deaf noise in background) Deaf people will insult him, they’ll fight with him. Mari: you think deaf people will look down on him? Michael: Yes, yes I do. Mari: I don’t care what deaf people say. When I told you Peter was deaf, how did you react? Nancy: I felt happy. Mari: Happy? Nancy: God blessed him. Mari: What do you mean blessed, why do you think it’s a blessing? Michael: It’s the first time we have a deaf member in the family, Mari. It makes me happy that’s all. Mari: But dad, when you were growing up it was tough, right? And as a deaf person you had a hard time getting a job, communicating…right? When you were a little boy how did you feel? Michael: I was alone, no one talked to me; I road my bike and I was by myself, I just stayed home. Nancy: People froze when they say deaf people. They couldn’t even talk to us; I’d say what’s wrong with you? Come on, what is it? They were scared of deaf people, isn’t that true? Michael: Hmm hum (agreeing) Mari: That’s not what I want for Peter, mom. I want him to grow up with all the possibilities that his twin brother has. Mari: It’s daddy Chris: Look at your brother, say Christopher. Yea, yeah, that’s Christopher, Yeah. Now smile. Nancy: Mari loves this operation. Oh, it is so foolish! I’ll take the baby, Mari can go away. Look if she doesn’t want the baby because he’s deaf, I’ll take him and he can say bye, bye to Mama that’s all.

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 26 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Producer: Roger Weisberg
Director: Josh Aronson
Views: 788
Posted by: aroutly242 on Dec 8, 2008

Two families continue to debate if their child should get a cochlear implant.

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