August122014

I haven’t been on at lately. We’ve been up to everything and nothIng. Next year is going to be very different. We are likely moving in December and after we take care of some things and life settles down we might get our foster care license! And a dog lol. Can’t wait for that.

10AM

laurajosephsen said: Hi! I'm writing an MG novel featuring an 11-year-old boy who is deaf. I've done tons of research, but the last thing I want is to misrepresent the deaf community. This boy was raised by a single mother & has gone mostly (or entirely) to hearing schools. Any advice/tips on writing deaf/HH characters raised primarily in a hearing setting? Little details I might miss? I know much is personal preference, but how might he prefer communicating w/hearing people--notebook/lip-reading/interpreter? TIA!!

andreashettle:

disabilityinkidlit:

Hi!

As I’m not deaf, I’d like to share this question with our followers. I know many of them are d/Deaf/HoH so they may be able to help better than I can. I’ve written a deaf character myself in the past, so I’ve had to do a lot of research as well, but it’s always better to hear it first-hand.

I’d also like to highlight some posts from our website that may be of interest to you:

This post by Cece Bell about how she was mainstreamed and rejected sign language. I would especially recommend her memoir El DeafoIt’s a fantastic look at her experiences in a hearing setting, covering everything from different types of hearing aids to social isolation to the difficulty of lip-reading. It’s out in a few weeks and sounds invaluable for someone writing a character like yours!

Juana F.’s post about communication fatigue; it sounds like your character may well experience this.

Since you say you’ve done your research, you will likely know a lot of the common misconceptions Cristina Hartmann points out, but it can’t hurt to repeat.

Hopefully this is helpful, and good luck!

- Corinne

You recognize that communication preferences is an individual thing.  Perhaps it would help to consider some of the background things that might influence his preferences.  For example, I was diagnosed at age 3 (I was born in 1970 when technology was not available to diagnose hearing loss in new borns, so it was not as unusual then for diagnosis to be delayed until after it becomes obvious that the child is not learning to speak at the usual age.  If your character is born in about the 1980s or 1990s or after, then the technology for diagnosing hearing loss in a new born is not only available but may be legally required to be used automatically with all new borns — I think this is more or less universal in all 50 states today, but at least for a while in I think the 1980s it was more of a patchwork thing where the state you’re born in affected whether you might automatically be screened for hearing loss or not).  

More to the point, though, my parents signed up for sign language classes right away and started using it with me at home.  This was slightly unusual back in that time because many parents of deaf children were raising their child “orally” (without sign language).  (Another aside: Using sign language with deaf kids became more common for a while in the late 70s and through the 80s, but then cochlear implants became more common among children and even infants as doctors stopped seeing it as an “experimental” surgery to be reserved mostly for adults and started seeing it as more “standard” and okay to use with children.  Cochlear implants, when successful, can HELP with lipreading, but lipreading will still remain very hard work for many if not all deaf children and adults with implants, but sadly many doctors don’t understand the communication fatigue thing and also don’t actually know anything about language acquisition in children—many tell parents of kids with implants that they must avoid using sign language on the misconception that this will stop the kid from learning proper speech and lip reading. So today, we are back to an era in which many more parents, especially of kids with cochlear implants, are not signing with their kid and expecting their kid to get by without sign language.) But, back to my story, I was already three years old without ANY language, not my own name, not the word for “Mom”, not in speech or writing or sign language.  And they didn’t want to delay my language input any further by “waiting to see” if oralism might work for me before trying sign language.  So I grew up seeing sign language as a perfectly natural and comfortable to communicate and just wished more people could sign so I could understand them better without wearing myself out trying to lipread them.  I could speak well enough so most hearing native English speakers could understand me, and could lip read moderately well in some situations with some people, though with varying levels of skill.  But I still preferred (and prefer today) to sign when that is an option.

On the other hand, if for some reason a kid doesn’t learn sign language right away, then there are two things that could happen when they’re first exposed to sign language.  One possibility, if they’re at an age when fitting in with your peers is really important, is that maybe they won’t be comfortable “feeling different” and marking that difference by learning a different way to communicate.  Or another possibility (at ANY age, even when “fitting in” matters) is that they suddenly realize that communication doesn’t have to be this onerous and wearying chore, it can be something that just happens as smoothly and easily as spreading softened butter into a hot roll.  There’s this revelation, this huge thirst for learning more of the language and finally connecting with other peers who also know sign language.  All this mingled with anger and resentment that they weren’t exposed to sign language long before this.

Random thoughts: I tire of seeing stories about champion lip readers.  They DO exist but are not nearly so common in real life as they are in fiction.  I would like to see more deaf characters who don’t really speak or lip read much at all, or who maybe speak but can really only be understood by family and people who have known them a very long time.  And I would like to see more deaf people with “in between” lip reading skills — I can lip read many people in a one-on-one situation, but completely miss almost everything once there are any additional hearing non signers in the discussion.  Turn taking may move swiftly, which means you miss the first one or three or five words a person is saying when they turn starts, and because you’ve missed that much and because being able to lip read (or more precisely, guess what people are saying) depends so very heavily on contextual cues, even just missing a few words—or even one—can be enough to suddenly cause everything else from that point on pretty much indecipherable because now you’ve lost the contextual cues that word could have given you to help you guess what words might make sense coming next in that sentence.  So a person who does okay lip reading just one person, when talking with someone who actually remembers to keep facing them to let the deaf person see their lips clearly, might be completely unable to keep up with a group conversation (describes me perfectly).

But sometimes lip reading ability may vary depending on who you’re lip reading,  Some people may be harder to lip read than others because they don’t cooperate well with slowing down and facing you: some people like this may mean well but just can’t remember, while others are people who are just very resistant to adapting to another person’s communication access needs.  Some people may be harder to lip read because they have an accent, or because they have a lot of facial hair covering some of their lips.  But sometimes there isn’t a clear reason why person X is easier to lipread than person Y, sometimes you just never know why it’s just the way it is.  A lot of authors tend to ALWAYS have an easily “understandable” excuse for exactly why a deaf person couldn’t lip read something — it was too dark, the person was standing too far away, the deaf person couldn’t lip read them in profile, the person chewed gum while talking, whatever.  And yes sometimes it’s easy enough to diagnose the problem whether it’s something that is easy to fix (the person needs to look at you while they speak) or not (the person has an accent they can’t help).  But sometimes it’s just easier or harder without an obvious reason why.  This can vary both from person to person and also from day to day (maybe the deaf person’s fatigue levels vary, affecting how well they can concentrate on lip reading, or maybe the conversation is about a topic that is new for the deaf person robbing them of cues and background knowledge that could help them guess better.  Or, there is just no obvious reason at all, not even things you can try guessing at.)

Cristina Hartmann’s article, and Juana F.’s post are both good.

July272014

How to Put a Baby to Sleep in 3 Easy Steps

1. Torso carry

2. OMD LOOK AT THAT BEBES SLEEPING

3.  This is where it gets tricky. Transfer unconscious child from back to bed.

Congratulations! Naptime has been achieved in 92 seconds. 

P.S. Formatting from a tablet sucks

July262014

songsforleaving:

i don’t know how to stop being sad

 You plan a day to hang out with your sisters and observe the funny antics of their children.

July242014
July132014

findanewequation:

So for the last four months or so, I have taken part in the body positivity movement on Instagram, including posting photos of myself in my bikini and underwear/bra. Keep in mind that none of my photos have ever been sexually explicit or suggestive and that I have always been fully covered. As far as nudity goes, I show no more skin than a thin woman in a bikini. Below is a photo I uploaded last night, with the caption “I love my belly. ♥”

image

At approximately 2:05 am, I received an email from Instagram stating that a photo had been removed from my account for “violating the community guidelines.” I went to my page to find the above photo missing from my account. Angry and determined to make a point, I went to the tags on Instagram to find photos of women dressed in as much clothes as I was. I found entire pages dedicated to sharing women in sexually explicit and suggestive poses in half the clothes I am wearing in the above photo. I also found men, completely naked with the photo cropped to just miss their dick being in the photo. I reported these photos for nearly half an hour.

At exactly 3:58 am, I was logged off of my Instagram account while using it and then told that my account had been disabled for violating the community guidelines. My entire account containing over 560 followers and over 500 personal photos and memories of my self love journey were removed without warning.

I went to sleep crying, disgusted and angry that Instagram would do this. When I woke up, I found that every pornographic image I had reported was not only still there, but so was the pages offering to send people nudes in direct messages. That is the moment that I became enraged and determined to fight this.

This is not the first time that Instagram has practiced size discrimination. Meghan Tonjes went through a very similar situation and her story went viral. I am asking you to make this go viral as well, because THIS is not okay. By removing my photos and the photos of women of size and not the others, Instagram is effectively telling women that our fat bodies are more offensive to the eyes of children and their viewers than thin women half naked and blatant pornography. They are silencing us and telling us that our bodies are to be censored while the rest of the world can practice “cocks in socks” and post Victoria’s Secret Models.

I will not be silenced. After years of struggling with my body through depression, anxiety and self harm, I WILL NOT let a website tell me that my body is censor worthy simply because it is a fat body with cellulite and rolls. END SIZE DISCRIMINATION ON INSTAGRAM.

2PM
July102014

Who wants to judge my baby names

offishal-faggot:

For a girl I like; Aurora, Huxley, Creedance, and Dooriya

For a boy I like; Kodiak, Prism, and Romani.

HELP?

I like Aurora and Creedance - you could call her Cree or Dancer, which is really pretty! Kodiak and  Prism are both pretty cool, though out loud Prism sounds like “prison”. I like how Romani looks and sounds, but I’d be worried about contributing to the oppression against Romani people. Not to mention it’s just like callingsomeone “American” or “Spanish” or “Chinese”.    

(via offishal-faggot-deactivated2014)

11PM

I played a name game with Mr. Safety and am quite enraptured by my sibset. I think I’ll have to do something with them.

Madeline Songbird “Magpie”, 13

Broderick Meadow “Badger”, 9

Bartholomew Wind “Beau/Bow”, 8

Fenna Violet “Fen”, 5

July92014
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