CODA: Family Awareness, Individual Growth

CODA Language is obviously a vital tool. Not only is it a means of communicating thoughts and ideas, but it forges friendships, cultural ties, and economic relationships. Throughout history, many have reflected on the importance of language. For instance, the scholar Benjamin Whorf has noted that language shapes thoughts and emotions. John Stuart Mill said that “Language is the light of the mind. Lionel Groulx, a Quebec historian, put it this way: “Chacun retient toutefois que la supreme revelation du genie national, la clef magique qui donne acces aux plus hautes richesses de la culture, c’est la langue,” Meaning: Each retains, however, that the supreme revelation of the national genius, the magic key that gives access to the highest wealth of culture, it is the language. The success of an endeavour hinges on the ability to communicate effectively in today’s fast paced life, everyone is asked to do more with less.

In such a scenario effective communication holds the key. Effectively communication centers round the usage of words, speed of delivery of words, pitch modulation and body language. Sometimes communication can be a variety of different ways in one household. Language is an important part of ones’ own identity. “Mother father deaf” is a phrase commonly used in the deaf community to identify hearing children with deaf parents. Currently there are 28 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States. About 85% to 90% of children born to deaf parents are able to hear.

Those children are referred to as CODAs (children with deaf adults). There are these families who face challenging obstacles between the two worlds including parenting challenges. CODA is an organization established for the purpose of promoting family awareness and individual growth in hearing children of deaf parents. CODA addresses bicultural identity through conferences, support groups and resource development Children with deaf parents are as varied as children in the general population. Children with deaf parents can achieve just as much as any other child as well.

Schools have a hard time with children and parents who have such issues. School board administrators are uncertain as to their legal obligation to provide communication access for deaf parents. For deaf parents, information is available for help on this subject but as a short; be aware of legal responsibilities of schools for the parents sake. Many adult children of deaf parents report that entering school was a difficult period of adjustment for them sense some teachers believe that students with deaf parents are in need of speech therapy or special education.

When in contrast, its not necessary. Two of the earliest CODA success stories were Edward Miner Gallaudet and his brother Thomas, whose parents co-founded the first school for the deaf in the United State. Thomas became an Episcopal minister and helped establish one of the first churches for deaf people. Edward founded the world’s only liberal arts higher education institution for deaf students. However, many CODAs enter fields of work that have nothing to do with deafness and still succeed at high levels.

Texas attorney/politician Homer Thornberry became a member of congress, federal judge, and nominee to the United States Supreme Court. The list of CODAs who have earned Ph. D. degrees is very lengthy. Louise Fletcher, the daughter of a prominent deaf Episcopalian minister, won an Oscar for best actress in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in 1975. There are so many more success stories that could be listed but there are also the individual stories from CODAs themselves. “How did you learn to talk? , Is asked towards Jake, a CODA with deceased deaf parents. His reply was, “I was the firstborn, and there were no other hearing people who would regularly stop by, so I learned how to speak when I was old enough to go outside to play with the other hearing children around 4 or 5. ” Two or more years of age is when the average child begins to talk, this means that a child with deaf adult is libel to take longer to begin its own speech. The next question, “how did your parents manage parent-teacher meetings at school? this came the reply of, “they never went… however, I do remember one time my mother did come to school, while my first grade class was in session, and I subsequently found out that it was because she was told that I needed to repeat the first grade. ” I believe that if deaf adults were aware of their rights with their children, communication with school staff wouldn’t be an issue and parents would love to know about their children’s achidemic progress, and so issues with their child would promptly disappear.

A third question was asked, “Were your parents actively involved in the deaf community? If so, did they bring you along to deaf events and social gatherings? ” followed by the answer, “yes, my mother would bring us to various deaf functions in the Philadelphia area (where she grew up), such as functions at church, movie night… My father was from New Jersey, so all four of us would go to the deaf clubs and functions in New Jersey. I think hearing children born with deaf parents grow up feeling a part of both the deaf and hearing communitys, “but many deaf, especially ones I meet for the first time as an adult, seem to put us in a strictly hearing category and ignore me somewhat,” exclaims Jake. I don’t think that is exactly fair considering that hearing children with deaf adults do grow up with the same life style and they do know the challenge most deaf go through. Yet, there are many assumptions that are far from correct. Such assumptions as, deaf parents cannot hear or speak, is a myth that is far from true.

In fact, almost all deaf people can speak, although the clarity may vary they still can. Many deaf people have had bad experiences using speech to communicate. Sense as children, many deaf persons were forced to speak, and they are also aware of the negatively noted reactions made by the public sense their speech is not impeccable. Another assumption of, all children with deaf parents know sign language, is incorrect. Many CODAs consider American Sign Language as their first language but some deaf parents are oral speakers and choose not to sign to their children.

Read also Summary :

Many parents also encourage their children to use English exclusively. CODA helps many families in these situations figure out what to do for their children though. CODAs international servise is there helping so many families that would struggle with the diversity in a household. “Deaf community” has developed for over the last two centries, and is based on shared experiences of deafness. Children with deaf parents have shared the same experiences without the physical attribute itself, that’s why there is CODA. CODA—Children of Deaf adults, is a non-profit organization for the adult hearing sons and daughters of deaf parents. The organization began in 1983 and has grown to include people from many different countries and very different family and extended family situations,” is the first thing that is stated on the national CODA webpage to back up their reassuring support with so many families. They insure effective communication within the family and stay to help. “Thank you,” is what so many are saying to the CODA foundation and they deserve more than that, how about a round of applause?

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