As I have mentioned before I went deaf in 1988. Learning to cope in a hearing world has been one of my most strenuous challenges. Most people, whether they want to admit it or not, have preconceived ideas of who a deaf person is and for the most part I don’t fit into that mold.
I am deaf but have maintained my ability to speak relatively clearly. But since I have almost no feedback I often have problems controlling the volume of my speaking. With an IQ of about 130 I am somewhat intelligent person. I am at best a fair lip reader so I often depend on written notes for communications. It always amazes me that there are a significant number of people who absolutely refuse to write down what they want to communicate. They just don’t seem to understand that is often the best way to communicate with me. I repeatedly tell them that but it just doesn’t seem to sink in! I guess they think that since I can speak I must not really be deaf. Some will start yelling at me thinking that that will solve the problem. Some others think that since I am deaf I must have the intelligence of the third grader so they dumb down their words to me and start speaking very sloooowly. I try my best to get them to understand my situation but often it is to no avail.
I really tire of the above situation when it occurs. For that reason I sometimes do play the role they expect. That is I just point and make gibberish sounds and gestures; many then seem to want to help me with whatever the situation is. Sometimes it is just easier to play the role than to try and get people to understand that I am a relatively normal person with some degree of aptitude and simply have a problem of not being able to hear.
I am a regular viewer of the TV show Little People, Big World. That is a show about how dwarfs are just like the rest of us except they are just not as tall as us. I have learned a lot by watching that show. I wish there was a similar show about those of us who are deaf. If there were maybe I would not have to play deaf and dumb as often as I do.
Let’s move off this depressing topic and on to a totally unrelated thing. Here is a picture of my first new car. It was a 1970 Mustang muscle car. I wore out the rear tire before it hit 10,000 miles.
And the journey goes on…