In Dr. Miriam Levingers article “What Deaf Parents ‘Hear’” he successfully gives an insight into the deaf-parent world, which is based in between two hearing worlds, that of the hearing children and that of the hearing grandparent (their parents) He looks into the feelings of a deaf person toward their hearing parents and children. Looking at their childhood memories and then their experiences with parenting, Dr. Levingers uses these memories to analysis this study into three main groups – Communication, capability and “differentness”.
The key point that Dr. Levingers is trying to put across through out this study is to develop parenting skills within the deaf parent community. But during his study the deaf parents exploited it so that they were able to share their voices and experiences into both the deaf world and the hearing world. Within this article it gives the evidence that has been proven in many other studies that deaf people are born to hearing parents, and when deaf people go on to marry each other and eventually have children 90% of the time they have hearing children. And thus raising the problem of the parent and child communication and learning curve.
Dr. Levingers main source of primary research comes from a study that took place in central Israel during December 2005 through until February 2006. In this study 12 deaf parents in between the ages of 35-55 attended, including 4 couples. All of the participants were born and raised by hearing parents. Dr. Levingers concludes that from the deaf peoples childhood memories they felt loneliness, suffering, lack of belief in abilities, lack of communication with their environment and deprivation. And when asked about their experiences in parenting their hearing children they said that they suffered from their children not listening, disappointment and failure as a parent, loneliness, helplessness and shame.
This article truly opened my eyes into the world of being a deaf-parent and the many difficulties they have already faced growing up in an isolated world and the further struggles they appear to have with their parenting experiences when it comes to their hearing children. In the conclusion of Dr. Levingers study he gives some quite shocking insights into some of the isolation that occurs, from another study he refers that only 13% of deaf adults communicate easily with their children. Some even being embarrassed to be seen signing when out in the public eye not wanting to be seen as ‘an idiot’. I found it quite upsetting to find that from this some parents of deaf children even think that if they work hard enough at making their child ‘normal’ that they would eventually be able to hear. I would defiantly say that the outcome of this article is to try and shed some light on the difficulties of parenting deaf children and gives a genuine and true insight into the many communication difficulties that would defiantly happen during this time.