Say What?


Norm Chomsky, B. F. Skinner, and others are names that tumble off lips of linguistics and behavior students and professors of language and its acquisition. Many will reference to these giants for all languages. My question is, who are those that are the giants in those that acquire language in a visual way? Many of these articles they have published are primary about with with no blocks to their acquiring the language of their environment. The studies are about how language is acquired and how can it be improved for those whom there may be issues in acquiring it or to use the environment and application of training to improve current methods in education. Even Dr. Spock was a part of all this. What interest me is these names come mostly from my generation of people. What about new thinkers? What if anything has been discovered in neural science?

I want to know more what is known about language about children who acquire language base on visual rather than audio. Why? My story is not typical of many deafen kids. “Exception to the rule” was something I heard pretty much all my life, and got sick of it. Still do. But so you do understand where I come from I will be clear and explain that I picked up English later than other children. While labeled profoundly deaf, I was able to make use of powerful hearing aides. Audiologist and others who worked with me are convinced I must of been born hearing. If  I was I have no memory of it or of learning to speak easily. My language was quite mangled and most consisted of pointing to things to get what I needed. Age six and half I obtained my first hearing aids and while I had home studies for speech I got my first professional speech therapist around second grade.  Reading I remembered suddenly made sense to me when a teacher showing my little brother how to read in kindergarten showed a picture of a ball, and the word, dog and a picture of a Cocker Spaniel. Suddenly I began to get the idea and opened a book near by with pictures of a ball and a dog.  Mom ended up bring home books like those for my brother. I began to use them too and remembered in time I figured out how to read, I was close to nine at the time.  Eventually I could read beyond my age group, but could not read aloud very well as many of the words I had no idea how to pronounce. I only was able to guess their meanings from context of sentences and because I was told to use the dictionary and encyclopedia a lot. So over time I did acquire language. I eventually got a BFA and MA in spite of the fact my parents were told they would be lucky if I could graduate high school by age twenty two and if I had children I would need help as they expected my mental development to be delayed as well. Even going to college was not encouraged, but I was stubborn and demanded a way in.

So how kids get language visually is of great interest to me as a teacher and as a student. I plan to write some blogs here about this. Not about various devices used to enhance sounds for deaf – hearing impaired children. Because frankly they still need to rely on visual abilities to gain access to language no matter how well they eventually learn to use the audio aspects of any device they may or may not use. For accuracy if anyone would like to point out some relevant information they found useful, please send me the information. I would also love to interview any Parents and their story of teaching their children access to language as well.

Nancy Louise

Slapping people is not nice!


First off, let’s us put up a small list of grievances I have received directed to my behavior. I who do my best to be a dear little angel who only blest. ( O.K. Friends of mine you can get off the ground and stop laughing now….)

1. I give my dog water to drink in a restaurant, from the same glass which will be washed will then be used by others…

He helps me so you don't have to...
He helps me so you don’t have to…

2. I am very insistent in getting answers to annoying questions people Try to evade me on…

image image

3. My acting cute and adorable gets on people’s nerves…

image

#3, you think I out grow this by now. After all I am over the age of five! But it works so well in getting me out of trouble! Humm maybe I need to get in less trouble and be more ‘old’? (Belch).

#2. Nope, not giving this one up, so knock that off your wish list for behaviors you wish I would change.

#1. This one, well it’s tough. I will make a point to bring HIS glass with me from now on. I was scolded in public recently for this by our waitress, after receiving a complaint seeing me give my dog water. She then informed me the glass had to now be destroyed so the customer would know it was not going back in with the others. When I protested that the glasses are washed, the waitresses said they could be sued for breech of hygiene. I became very quiet and compliant. And said I was quite sorry. Ironically, the number of things we can catch from a dog then washed glass is far less than we can from each other. But perception is often 90 percent of how the law is applied. So I will give him water from cups I bring in. The public perception of people with service dogs has been badly damaged by those who broke the law just to bring their pets in with them.

So I am going to put out a plea to all dog lovers, animal lovers etc. Next time you want to bring your pet into an establishment forbidding animals, DONT. PLEASE DONT. You will not only be hurting us, but yourselves as insensitive dog dolts dummies who bring their flea bags every where. Even when they are not. Those who have medical service animals, please keep up with their training. Not only for your own safety, but for others of us in your community.

That is my Christmas Wish for us all, that we get along, people and their loving dogs (or ponies, or felines, etc.).

What growing in my brain?


In looking for photos of deaf cats I came across this link.

http://www.jhu.edu/ryugolab/research/endbulbstudy.html

In short its a paper (just one page) of why implants for deafness works for some but not others. They used cats born deaf to try and see what happens to their brains. My guess is they didn’t use cat scans for this (tears). The results were that some cats actually have developed more cells in their area of the brain that receives the signals to translates as sound in our minds. Remember all sound is waves, there is not actually any noise per say out there, we just perceive it that way because of how our brain developed. We could have just as easily developed to SEE the sound, Smell the sound, or any other way that organisms can develop senses for.  Example would be the Mantis Shrimp, which can see not only more colors but more spectral vision than we have tools for apparently. So, if a mean Shrimp (it is said to be rather violent) can have that, well what else can’t. My point is that sounds are not sounds, they are waves. So these devices were made to stimulate the area of the brain by passing the damage area to give the brain charges it needs to “hear” again. Apparently in doing so, it allows some cats (and humans I supposed) to re-grow areas that had gone damaged without stimuli.

Its an interesting thing to read, and just throwing some information out there. Its also greatly disturbing to realized I wear daily a device that cost the lives of, I would imagine, thousands of beloved felines.

Nancy Louise

PS this is our Deaf kitty, she has no implant, never will. She is happy. She the tiny (full grown) one on the right. Next to her is BIG Sammy who is 20 pounds. Yeah, she likes snuggles with him.

Image

When a Child is Gone.


Next to a child being killed, a child stolen is another petrifying fear that sits at every alert Mom and some Dad’s gut. Some parents are more blasé about it than others. My own sister was taken from a grocery cart and almost walked out of a grocery store if it was not for our Mom who just had her back turned for a second to pick something off the shelf had not seen the woman walking past her with my sister in her arms. I was with my Mom and shocked that something could happened with her between the two of us. She was supposed to be safe! From then on, any child with me, was alway, always within physical contact if I ever had to turn my head. My husband I have to say was constantly reminded, even as he reminded me he could hear. I reminded him, so could my Mom.

It was while we were homeless and among more unstable folks, that we became much more paranoid about whom and where our children were. So missing children are something that while my kids are no longer young children, it is something that still draws fervent prayers from me. I am aware that most of those taken are Custody disputes. There is one Missing Child however I have chosen to keep on top of until some kind of conclusion is decisively made. There is little I can do, except pray, and maybe because I live around here, keep my eyes and ears open. Doubt I will ever come across anything, but then, I won’t discount that either. I can at least keep the child before the Lord. It was August 10, 2009 that he was last seen. A child with cerebral palsy , Hasanni Campbell.

Missing Child
Hasanni Campbell, age 6 in 2009 age 5 or 6, his age has been reported as both. So he would be 8 or 9 now, if alive. This too is a form of Social Justice on a local scale. A local missing child. It seems his family life was badly fragmented, and being a little boy with disabled issues meant he got the shorter end of the stick than most. I have no doubt he was seen as a drain and 'nothing but trouble' by some. It might not have been spoken out loud, but that is the sense that many folks feel when there is someone disabled in the family. It is the huge elephant in the room or yard whenever people get together. Trust me, us disabled folks get squeezed all the time by that elephant. I finally decided to start riding that Elephant instead of standing in its, you know... 'shadow'.

So here is my challenge to you, pick ONE child from your area that is missing. Keep a page, photo, name and date of missing and pin it up where you look everyday. Say a prayer, check for updates. Even if its years down the road. If the child is found, give praise, but don’t think it is all over, keep the child in your prayers, because trust me, the kid gonna need it. That child will always be disabled, we just can’t see the wound. Just ‘adopt’ that child for your prayer, for life. Its a small thing to ask, but it is a ripple that spans out farther than you can know. If the child remains missing, don’t give up, because the family still aches and has no closure. Can you commit this for Christ?

I put my hand in yours in prayer.

Nancy Louise

Soul Shredders Of Audistic Kindness.

Triple Photo montage.

If any of you have read my blogs for any amount of time, I have written very openly of my rape (s) at age 4, 5 and 6. There was however another type of “rape” if you will, much more subtle and it had a different name and guise under the tutelage of Education. It was consider conformity, proper upbringing, and correction. It was done for my own good, the gift being that I would be raised to: fit in, hold down a job, and not be a burden to others, and above all, not a failure. I was raised to become a hearing person or to at least duplicate one as close as possible. While saying that my oral education was similar to rape could be over exaggerations, the violations of my personhood and the resulting damage was the same.

This violation taught me many wonderful things about myself. I learned that I am broken and because I am broken and I cost my family a lot of money, I OWE them to do my very best to learn how to talk. I learned to value the talkers power of thought over my own mind. In doing so, I realized I was a disgusting little twerp and to make sure I was a little girl of goodness, I used to find self destructive ways to beat out my anger at how could I be so horrible to my parents, my grandparents, my teachers and everyone around me? I proudly had scabs and callous running down my arms from playing tether ball in the yard. When that was taken away, if I got hurt, I challenged my toughness by when ever I got hurt or cut, I would pour Listerine over the wound to clean it, and dear myself not to scream. Sometimes I felt so dead inside, I was not sure I was real anymore. Noise babbled around me constantly, noise ringing in my head as well, I never knew silence of any kind, nor did I know solid sensory information it seemed, everything was confused jumbled sounds. I think that why I loved mosaics. They were the first thing I saw that made order of chaos. I remember when snow fell where I lived, I walked outside in my bare feet, I wanted to see if the pain would make me alive. The Sister of the Catholic School came outside and saw me. She simply put her arm around my shoulder and quickly and quietly ushered me into the school. Asking me what I was doing, I had no answer. They knew enough to recognized deep pain, and the teachers took time to be with me, and I took comfort in that. Suddenly, the world started to feel a little bit real, when someone took the time to look and say, “Hi”. Then I begin to slowly, ever so slowly learn, I am a damn strong woman too. We call ourselves survivors.

Triple Photo montage.
A Shredded Soul Revealed.

In college I had several breakdowns and only my nearest and dearest friends kept me from doing something stupid. I said nary a word to any of them, but they knew. I owe them all my life and yes 30+ years later, they are still my rocks. That did not stop me from busting a hand through glass (thanks to God it was thin glass), or breaking things, throwing chairs, and other things, cutting hands with X-acto knife. How did a self destructive person like me have the friends I do? Because believe it or not, I don’t WANT to be that destructive person, I love people. Anger however, the way I was taught about who I was supposed to be as opposed to who I AM, was in deep conflict. I have a lot more peace now, but Goodness to my sweet God, I wish it did not have to take more than three fourths of my life to get it cleaned up.

So yes, I was violated while being taught to talk. It was not rape like I was when I was 4 -6 years of age,  instead there was the more now recognized form of power over powerless, Patronizing over pitiful. Objectifying the child in order to manage the sensory neural disorders. On March 3, 2012, in the Heartland of America, on a day of what many think of as a Great man, Alexander Graham Bell, Audism Free America in St. Louis MO, will be having their own party. At this party if you could see the souls with special glasses, you would find many of them shredded as mine. Some still raw, some white with healed scars.

While times have surely changed, there is always my friends those who wish to return to the days when making the child conform to the ideal of Oralism, usually pushed by big Pharmacy/Medical Technology and what they think the child should be, rather than what that child can truly fully achieve when allowed to for-fill who they are.

So you might ask, who do I blame for my shredded soul, my pain, my disabled ability to navigate the pathways of life? Truth? No one, and everyone in the Audistic oral programs of my childhood. I mean, look, they did mean well in their own misguided attempts to do well. What sickens me is the consent belief that those of us (Deaf) who have degrees in the same field they do are still not considered worthy of knowing what the Deaf need in terms of Education, unless they parrot the same oral methods. Why am I so against oral methods when I have clearly benefited from it in some fashion?

Let me be clear, I am NOT against Oral training for the Deaf. I am not against the use of Technology if there is a benefit and the person wants it (noted, the person WANTS it). I am against banning of ASL as the primary language for the Deaf . Oral training can be used as a tool.  I mean doesn’t it make more sense to use a visual language to explain how to make the throat and mouth movements to produce sounds than through a sound method that is impaired? I mean, can you teach someone to become a photographer with a busted lens? The cost of having an only oral education is this.

In spite of my M.A. degree, loving marriage, two healthy children raised to adult hood and a very active role in the Deaf community, in many ways I am considered a social failure. Why? I am obese (over three hundred pounds), I have poor health that started with a poor digestive system from years of stress acid eating at the lining of my upper digestive tract, asthma, and migraines. I have serious depression which must be medicated to maintain functionality. I depend on Social Security and subsidized housing to help me have money for the times I can’t work enough to earn enough money to feed myself or my family to keep us off the street and out of soup kitchens (where we have been before). I am in what is called the lower social economic order and my children were considered ‘at risk’ their entire lives because of that label. Add $50,000.00 a year income and the ability to maintain it, and no one would have notice we were all that different. The problem of course is maintaining it. Frequent doctor and hospital visits can kill those opportunities.

I am a very creative (Artist, Writer, Sculpture, Photographer, Cook, Deaf Advocate, Conceptual Thinker, Expressive Language Reader, etc…), I am smart, I love people. I am also someone who unless I take exceptional care of self can get sick. In the last five years, I have finally been able to do that. It has been a very long haul to get to this point. I say it took about a life time. I jokingly said once at my birthday. “The first 20 years I survived growing up. The second 20, I recovered from that, this 20, I am trying to figure out what it means to be alive, I think….” That kind of sums it up. I am an example of an exceptional woman who managed to come out of the carnage with gifts to give STILL in SPITE of what happened to her. Let me tell you however, the slaughter, the deaths from suicide, drugs, poverty related health deaths, and crime, stuff we don’t talk about in polite company. Many of those people were my Deaf neighbors, friends, relatives, and part of the community I live in. Those are lives that would have been here too, if their souls had not been shredded. Why am I here and not them? I have no answer except this, I have a message, we CANT go back, we WONT go back, and we will NEVER forget…

March 3, 2012 Be there in person, heart, mind, what ever way you can. Learn about it, BE about it. You owe it to yourself and Deaf children everywhere. Stop the soul Shredding, and instead, lets be Soul Shining.

Nancy Louise

Once The Egg is Cracked…


Brood-Hen
Mom and her eggs
“Once the egg is cracked, you can never go back, because the yoke goes black, and the chick lays flat.” I have no idea where I picked that up from. But it basically says, dead is as dead does. It also pretty much says what a lot of professional feel that once our own eggs (mental) is cracked, you are dealing with damaged goods and well its pretty much trying to contain the damaged till most people die an early death. Ugh, a few, a very few few, will succeed beyond wildest dreams to go beyond those expectations and beat all the odds. I am determined to be one of them or die trying. I mean if I have to die, I may as well die trying to live, right?

I know a number of mental health specialist. It is rather common for someone like me who both works with those who have mental health issues in my line of work (ministry) and who deals with such things herself personally. For those of you who might be slightly less educated about this, mental illness does NOT mean someone is wacko thank you very much. It can mean anything from a temporary mild case of disrupting depression or anger issues to horror problems of schizophrenia where they are never going to be able to care for themselves alone. As for who is wacko, that usually a media or personal judgmental sticky which is inappropriate and never accurate. There is also another misperception, that someone who is mentally ill must of done something to get that way. Oh really? I supposed if eggs had a thought they would chose to rot? The fact that so many with mental illness desire to die, not because they want to be dead, but because they want to leave the pain, should be a clue. The human being prerogative is to above all things, survive. When that is disrupted, something is seriously wrong. So what can cause such a disruption? Frankly I think there are primarily three major causes. I do not speak from a Ph. D. just from personal experience and observation.

Environmental Factors (Abuse being the primary one)

Physical exposures to certain viral infections (which then infect the brain)

Family Genes / History (Hard to separate the two sometimes).

Did you know that showing your Son photos of naked ladies (the Pornographic kind) before he is 18 is considered sexual abuse? Yep it is. [A parent who exposes a child to intercourse or deviant sexual behaviors or pornographic materials is abusing that child. New York State law now clarifies that such abuse is a crime.] Exceptions would be, unless he brought it to YOU to ask questions. Bringing him in to look at your stash however, is big no no. If this was a tradition that your Father did with you to discuss the birds and the bees, you are then combining a family history with environmental factors. A tradition that is actually abusive. On the surface it might seem harmless and male bonding. One can do the same thing at a museum too with out going pornographic and exposing him to degrading images. Things that could trigger problems down the road. Such actions might also signal a sign of deeper issues in the family one might not even be aware of, just the simple fact there is pornographic material in the house signals that.

I want to go a bit deeper here than simple pornography. What about sexual abuse that happens before the child is the age of 5? It does not matter if there was no physical contact, if it only happened once, or if the person who had it happened to them understood it was not their fault and figures they have moved on. The impact, dang nab it, is still life long and disruptive for life.  I was raped repeatedly starting at age 4. Now at that age, due to my undiscovered deafness and delayed speech, I was unable to tell anyone, anything. I literally had no vocabulary to say anything. I do however remember having a torn pee pee, and Mom rushingly bathing me one time and being angry about it. (I was 5 at that particular memory). Growing up I kept wondering if I was a virgin or not. Oh I did so want to be and yes as I learned more English a lot of the memories I had of my early years did get packed away. Interestedly though, I keep the ability to think without words fresh. I found it stimulating as an artist and writer to do so. It was another language for me and gave me insights for my creative self. Much talk or dismissal has been mention about such repressive and recovered memories. Just how validated are they?

For me, the validation is ironically in my own mental illnesses, my disruptive habits, and unhealthy body. All footprints left that festered from decades ago on a very young mind-body.  If there is an interest, I will write more about this.

Nancy Louise

Grow where you are planted
Grow where you are planted

Brood-Hen
Mom and her eggs

I know a number of mental health specialist. It is rather common for someone like me who both works with those who have mental health issues in my line of work (ministry) and who deals with such things herself personally. For those of you who might be slightly less educated about this, mental illness does NOT mean someone is wacko thank you very much. It can mean anything from a temporary mild case of disrupting depression or anger issues to sever problems of schizophrenia where they are never going to be able to care for themselves alone. As for who is wacko, that usually a media or personal judgmental lable which is inappropriate and never accurate. There is also another misperception, that someone who is mentally ill must of done something to get that way. Oh really? I supposed if eggs had a thought they would chose to rot? The fact that so many with mental illness desire to die, not because they want to be dead, but because they want to leave the pain, should be a clue. The human being prerogative is to above all things, survive. When that is disrupted, something is seriously wrong. So what can cause such a disruption? Frankly I think there are primarily three major causes. I do not speak from a Ph. D. just from personal experience and observation.

Environmental Factors (Abuse being the primary one)

Physical exposures to certain viral infections (which then infect the brain)

Family Genes / History (Hard to separate the two sometimes).

Did you know that showing your Son photos of naked ladies (the Pornographic kind) before he is 18 is considered sexual abuse? Yep it is. [A parent who exposes a child to intercourse or deviant sexual behaviors or pornographic materials is abusing that child. New York State law now clarifies that such abuse is a crime.] Exceptions would be, unless he brought it to YOU to ask questions. Bringing him in to look at your stash however, is big no no. If this was a tradition that your Father did with you to discuss the birds and the bees, you are then combining a family history with environmental factors. A tradition that is actually abusive. On the surface it might seem harmless and male bonding. One can do the same thing at a museum too with out going pornographic and exposing him to degrading images. Things that could trigger problems down the road. Such actions might also signal a sign of deeper issues in the family one might not even be aware of, just the simple fact there is pornographic material in the house signals that.

I want to go a bit deeper here than simple pornography. What about sexual abuse that happens before the child is the age of 5? It does not matter if there was no physical contact, if it only happened once, or if the person who had it happened to them understood it was not their fault and figures they have moved on. The impact, dang nab it, is still life long and disruptive for life.  I was raped repeatedly starting at age 4. Now at that age, due to my undiscovered deafness and delayed speech, I was unable to tell anyone anything. I literally had no vocabulary to say anything. I do however remember having a torn pee pee, and Mom rushingly bathing me one time and being angry about it. (I was 5 at that particular memory). Growing up I kept wondering if I was a virgin or not. Oh I did so want to be and yes as I learned more English a lot of the memories I had of my early years did get packed away. Interestedly though, I keep the ability to think without words fresh. I found it stimulating as an artist and writer to do so. It was another language for me and gave me insights for my creative self. Much talk or dismissal has been mention about such repressive and recovered memories. Just how validated are they?

For me, the validation is ironically in my own mental illnesses, my disruptive habits, and unhealthy body. All footprints left that festered from decades ago on a very young mind-body.  If there is an interest, I will write more about this.

Nancy Louise

Grow where you are planted
Grow where you are planted