May 13, 2011

The Deaf or HOH Child Who Brings a Book to Dinner With Family

I would hope that if your deaf child comes to dinner with a book to read, knowing that he or she will not be able to participate in the conversations, that you would consider trying to figure out how your child would like to communicate and work hard at trying to figure out what would be the best way for your child to be able to participate in the conversations with his or her family.

No one should think that they will not be able to participate in conversations with his or her family.

This should not be allowed.

But, it happens, unfortunately.

"Nice dinner time with my family, Ms. (e? Yeah right, I bring a book. I never can follow everything that is being said. Why should I work so hard, when they don't work hard to include me? I will just read my book and everyone will be happy."

: (



  1. I don't sign (yet. I was one of those oral only prelingually profound) BUT we did not do the family table growing up. Mom cook and everyone self serve and eat wherever we want in the kitchen or living room because dad likes to watch tv when he eat. So thats never been a problem with me as I can have an one in one conversation with anyone if no one else eating with them (I have big family) I still don't believe in the traditional family table. I have a rules where we are allowed to eat (and everyone must put their dishes in the dishwasher)

    But during a group setting, its always been too hard for me to keep up.

  2. A book was practically glued to hand growing up. It didn't bother me though until I went to college, learned to sign and finally had real conversations. Then I realized what I missed all those years. e) I understand totally!

  3. My parents tried to forbid me to bring my books to the table, and we had arguments about it. According to what they believed, they should forbid any deviation from communicating with family or any escape from that responsibility.

    However, true communication was not possible; if any at all, it was artificial and rehashed to me in one-on-one carefully enunciated lipreading.

    Frequently it ended in my offering input only to have it skipped over as the topic was already worn out. Sometimes efforts would be made to reciprocate with wide smiles and "You are right", sometimes it would end in correcting my speech. Feeling guilty for resenting this and not knowing why was the usual. Often I took my plate to my room and read there as it was not allowed at the table.

    At school the communication was much more enjoyable. I loved mealtimes there, even if the food was institutional and we were required to eat it all. The communication alone made it a treat.

  4. Yeah, I was glued to books as well. I do it so I don't feel lonely. Books helped me escape as I became the character in the book. I feel like I was interacting with the other characters, talking to them and everything. Probably weird though. I have spent hours on fiction books everyday.

  5. I like that child's attitude! If the family can't be bothered to include him/her, then why should he/she attempt the impossible? Dianrez explains some of the difficulties for a deaf/HoH child.

  6. all of the above! Books are my faithful companion to this very day even though I now use ASL and am in the Deaf Community. (Of course I don't need to read a book when I'm with my Deaf friends although I will sneak in a few pages if they are in the restroom haha.)


Keep it civil.