My Review of NYT Article – My Deaf Son Fought Speech Sign Language Let Him Bloom

August 17, 2018
Category: Submitted Posts

By: Kaylee Perry (05/16/18)

The article I chose was “My Deaf Son Fought Speech. Sign Language Let Him Bloom.” by Elizabeth Engelman. The whole article related to her son who was born profoundly deaf. Elizabeth, being a hearing mother, immediately went to see if he was able to get the Cochlear implant surgery. He was able, and that was the first thing she did. Micah, her son was miserable. He tried constantly to rip the cochlear implants out of his head and cried screams of terror when they turned them on. Elizabeth did not know what to do. The audiologist told her that American Sign Language would hold her son back and just become a crutch he did not need. Speech therapy was not going well either and Elizabeth did not know where to turn. Finally, Elizabeth said that is enough. She finally started taking American Sign Language classes at a local community college and started teaching her son the language. He picked it up very well and instantly took his cochlear implants off his head. Elizabeth explains that the first word he learned was “flower” and she distinctly remembers him signing it to her. Elizabeth recalls the first time Micah signed a real story to her. She states, “The first time he told me a story, he was 6. We were eating greasy burgers and fries in a diner’s pleather booth, and he told me about a dream from the night before. Our mouths were full, chewing, lips sealed, but his story continued with rapid-fire signs.” The progress from seeing him scream and cry because of an implant, to seeing him sign fast paced, happy and full was amazing.

This article definitely relates to Deaf culture. Going from a mom not knowing anything about ASL, and being told by an audiologist that it would just be a crutch, to watching her son transform to a happy kid, excited about his new language is amazing. I think it is so important that people do their research before just resorting to a Cochlear implant. This article would be a very good read for a parent who is hearing who also has a deaf child. When they are not sure what to do all they would have to do is read this article and truly see what the best option is for their child. This would also be a good read for Deaf communities to show people that may not have any experience with Deaf culture. This is a very helpful article that gives great insight into what happens when people may be ignorant ton a certain topic. I feel that this article has been very helpful and it was great to learn that this is something that actually happens to many deaf children unfortunately. They are not able to make the choice of what they want and people seem to forget that. I only hope that this article was able to open the eyes of many hearing parents who may be blind to the fact of what is really the best option for their children.

Cited: Engelman, Elizabeth. NY Times. “My Deaf Son Fought Speech. Sign Language Let Him Bloom”. 26, May 2017.