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Readers Respond: Communication Skills - Choosing Speech Only or Speech Plus Sign

Responses: 2


Updated February 19, 2011

Late deafened people can make choices in communication skills. Are you a late deafened person who became hard of hearing when you were not a young child? Since you lost your hearing later, you had the opportunity to choose whether to only talk, or also learn sign language. Young children can not make this choice, but older late deafened people can choose. What was your choice, and why did you make this choice?

Learn more about being late deafened.

Signing Since Late Teens

I am 69 and have been Deaf since about 19. Weak hearing before. ASL not a decision--just a comfortable choice. Deaf not confusing. Confusing was who,what I was as a person. Not as a Deaf person, just what should I do with my life kind of person. Info from every people--not much sense with it. I have no memory of what is hearing like. I am just Deaf and contented with it. Six or more years now too many hearing only people surround my life, but my children/grandchildren all sign. I am head tumors, stroke, fibromyalgia, diabetes, false knees, all that stuff, but Deaf is who and what I am no matter what.
—Guest Susan Cruse

Trying to Learn ASL Later

My hearing was damaged when I was a toddler, so in the early grades I tested with I guess minimal loss. But of course, since it was nerve damage it progressed. At the age of 30 I got my first ITE and my tests said above 40dB loss. Twenty years later, a lady invited me to her ASL classes. Since the instructor could not understand to put the word she was signing in a sentence, I could not make out what she was saying. I've asked other instructors about this and they don't seem to comprehend that I must have full sentences spoken. I'm still looking for an ASL class.
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