August 12, 2011

Emmett's Meltdown On 'Switched At Birth'

I really liked the emotionally charged scene where Emmett blew up at Bay about frustrations he has with trying to communicate with people who don't use sign language:
I'm tired of reading lips, only catching 30% of what people are saying but pretending I got more. I don't want to be working all of the time. I can only be myself with people who speak my language. Even if you learn, your friends are hearing, your family is hearing. And I will always be lost wondering what the joke is. Or worse, you'll be stuck interpreting for me, speaking for me. And that is not me. That will never be me!
There is a lot of truth to what he said and I think it is safe to say that everyone who is deaf or hard of hearing, whether they sign or not, can understand the frustrations Emmett experiences. I found myself nodding my head at some of the things he said. I think we all have had our moment where we just get fed up with trying to communicate with the general population and blow up. I sure did. I had a major meltdown one day when I had trouble hearing what was being said while riding in a car with my family. I just snapped. All the frustrations I dealt with built up over the years until one little issue with communication pushed me over the limit. With Emmet's case, Daphne angered him and then when he tried to follow what Bay, her brother, and friend were saying, he lost it, understandably.

However, I am really glad that he decided to try to make an effort to interact with more hearing people. I think it is really important to try to get out of your comfort zone and open up to new experiences. If you continue to stay in your comfort zone, with the same people, doing the same things everyday, you will hardly have any opportunities to grow and learn much.

There is a really cute scene where Emmett lets Bay know that he just wants her and that he is willing to give it a chance.

I heart Switched At Birth!!


  1. I once had a meltdown (and probably didn't happen once) with my hearing family. This scene (and yours above) is all too familiar with deaf individuals growing up in a hearing family that either does not sign or does not communicate fluently.

    This reminds me of Susan Dupor's painting - "Family Dog." See the blog here from Christy Smith, the "Deaf Survivor" about the painting.

  2. I totally get it too. I've had a few meltdowns myself, usually prompted when a hearing person tells me to "just try to listen to it..." I think I already mentioned one of here on one of your previous blogs. I hope hearing people watching this show get a better understanding on how much work it is to listen.

    Janel k

  3. I'm starting to see that last scene a little differently - more like you said - Emmett trying to break out of his comfort zone and out of his preconceived ideas of hearing people. I'm hoping he and Bay are allowed to have a chance at something even if it doesn't work out completely.

    I'm still worried about Daphne's final comments of the episode though. I'm already hating the love triangle.

  4. I am so glad this show is doing as well as it is! I am hooked! :)

  5. Just found that Switched at Birth is now streaming on Netflix! All ten episodes, with subtitles.

  6. i love this show so much...especially emmett i have watched every episode since it began


Keep it civil.