Monday, November 2, 2009

Dr. Larry Flesicher

I had planned another post for tonight but I just learned of Dr. Flesicher's death and felt compelled to flash forward a bit. I was planning to tell this story later so this is a condensed version.......

About 9 years ago......

We felt tired like we had been fighting a loosing battle forever. All we wanted was a Bi/Bi education for our son and the school district thought we were crazy. People who supported us were afraid to come forward for fear of their jobs. We took our fight to the top of the chain and still no results. Out of desperation I emailed Harlan Lane for help. I needed an advocate and wanted him to give me names. It was a shot in the dark. Why would he respond to me? He responded quickly and referred me to Robert Hoffmister. Again I was shocked that he responded so quickly. He said Larry Flesicher may know someone who could help.

Dr. Flesicher responded quickly. He told me he would attend the IFSP meeting I was concerned about and he wanted two interpreters and needed their names. I was over the moon. The school district was nervous and sent a ton of people to the meeting. He was so cool, when he saw one of the interpreters make a mistake he corrected them. The school district people looked like frightened children. For the first time they listened to me. This man took time out of his very busy schedule to help a family with a deaf 3 year old. He treated us with respect and was a huge help. The thing is he didn't know us. He could have easily brushed us off but he didn't.

So I send my deepest regrets to his family. He was a turning point in my son's life. We are grateful for his generous support of our son. In our view he was a great man.


  1. Mel,

    I am glad that you contacted Dr. Harlan Lane! He is one of the best things that has ever happened to a number of people, myself included. Again, I am glad that you consulted Dr. Lawrence Fleischer! Your son will be eternally grateful to you! Since I first met Dr. Lane, I knew immediately that he was (is) a Godsend!

    Jean Boutcher

  2. Thank you! It was such a good thing for us since we felt so alone.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this. We need moms and dads like you to reach out and be met with loving and caring Deaf hands as we all work together to ensure fully naturally and accessible language rights for Deaf kids and their families.

    thank you again for paying tribute to Larry and for all you do and are.



  4. Thank you Patti, what a lovely comment.

  5. Awww... man! Ever since I read this post a month ago, there's been an alarm going off in the back of my head, muffled by years of cobwebs.

    But it suddenly dawned on me, a few days ago, that this is the same "Larry" who taught my freshman ASL classes at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, 18 years ago... I've been trying to repress that realization, ever since. But tonight, I confirmed it, by finding his CSUN obit online.

    That was a difficult time for me. But I always felt calm and happy in his class. I credit his open spirit and sense of humor for that.

    You were indeed blessed to get the chance to know him.

    Awww, man!