Drolz...Beautiful Post Re: Mainstreaming Vs. Deaf School (Baseball Version)
Posted Aug 11 2008 9:08pm
Hi Drolzy. (http://www.deaf-culture-online.com/baseball.html - internet cafe computer issues) *smile* We haven't spoken in a while, but I always read you when I see your posts because they enrich me. Of course you know that I am a passionate baseball fan, so this one in particular interested me.
You are such a sensitive dad, that was obvious in the language you use to talk to your child and the fact that you saw his distress in the photo. Just as an aside, I remember about two years after I found out Jordan was Deaf, and started to breathe again since we had established our speech therapy routine, I took a look back at his photos from his first ten months of life in the States. Five of my closest friends all had babies during a span of two months, so we did everything together...baby groups, Halloween, New Year's Eve, etc. In every single one of those photos, despite the young age, all of the babies in the photos were looking at the camera except for Jordan - that's how I knew he was born deaf, after all we did only get the official diagnosis at twelve months.
Photos don't lie.
And neither do Deaf children.
We sent Jordan to baseball camp, too, a year ago. Our experience was a little different because Jordan only spoke Italian and this was an American baseball camp where all of the children spoke English, we knew there would be communication issues. Luca or I stayed with Jordan and transitioned him into the camp until he felt comfortable enough to stay a couple of hours alone. By the end, he was playing baseball with his peers, high fiving, sliding and getting physical with the boys...he had fun...but...
He had the sad look every now and then, too.
In some photos he was rip-roaring happy
In others he looked a little lost
Maybe it was because we introduced Jordan as being from Italy and only speaking Italian, but the ironic part of it all was that his teammates did not realize he was deaf (despite the fact that he wore his ci all the time - that's kids for ya). They just thought he was Italian and couldn't understand or speak the language very well. I know this because the last day of camp, his ci batteries went dead. As I was changing them, his teammates tried talking to him, and I explained to them that Jordan couldn't hear them until I finished changing the ci batteries. Reply: "You mean, he's Death?"
By the end of the experience Jordan had learned some new vocabulary, and so had the American kids. He also learned some important social skills and came back to Italy proud of his American baseball camp experience, where he found his whole Italian team waiting for him.