Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Deaf Discount

This is something I started in November. I never got around to finishing it but the topic is important.

Today while shopping my son came a cross something he wanted to buy. The vender was very friendly and helpful. Haddy handed him a $10 bill which was the price of the item. The man said,

" I'm going to give it to him for $8" he then handed my son $2.

"My cousin is deaf" he tells me.

All my son's short life this has happened. He won a skateboard once after the guy who took his entry form  told me he was going to let him win. He always gets free food from restaurants, random gifts from strangers in public and various odd free stuff. Service clubs have special events for the blind and deaf which is lovely but.....

I am grateful for the generous nature of folks but sometimes I wish people would just treat him like other kids. He does not need any "help" he is not diagnosed with a disease. Every time something like this happens he just looks at me awkward, not really sure about what is happening. I have always taught him that he is just a kid who happens to be deaf.

I have the same feeling about school. Please don't pass a deaf child because they have a challenge.

I really don't mean to sound ungrateful. He doesn't get bullied or ignored by the world. I just happen to be a helicopter mom in search of a perfect world.


  1. Think of it differently. Haddy is a member of that guy's cousin's culture! There is a "connection" there. No sympathy involved. Simply a connection!
    Would you feel that way if someone gave you something at discount because you were.... a friend of a friend, from the same college, from the same town, from the same island, from the same country?
    There's nothing wrong with being identified as deaf!

    Lucky Larry

  2. I'm with Larry.

    My Dad gets discounts all the time because people see he can speak Spanish.

    It's just... A human way of connecting. The man may even have really been flirting with you!

  3. I am a teacher, and I got a discount from someone because his mother is a teacher.

    But, I get what you are saying here. I think the situation with the guy who has a deaf cousin is OK. But, all the other times, people letting your son win, and getting free stuff from everyone only because he is deaf, is patronizing. You are right, after a while it starts to seem as if he has a disease and people feel sorry for him.

    But, I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that he is a cute kid. Everyone loves cute kids, add something special, such as being deaf, and people will fawn over him even more.


  4. Ok so point taken!I love getting perspective from the outside. Just today we enjoyed the silent bubble in a crowd.

    The thing that gets me a bit to pondering is that I don't want him to think he can just skate through life and everything he needs or wants will just fall from the sky. He is to young.

    Larry, you sent me an email that really illustrated the benefits and drawbacks based on perspective. Thank you. In our world we live as a deaf/hearing family so naturally that I don't have that stand back and look approach sometimes.

    Anony 2, hee hee, I will just pretend that was the motive!

    e) you are right, I hope it doesn't sound too crazy but my kid is a magnet. People are just drawn to him. Small children I teach follow him like the Piped Piper. Adults also just fall under his spell. I just want him to grow up knowing it will be work ahead.

    hmmm.... just got an idea to write about......

  5. I'm Deaf and never got special treatment (that I know of, anyway). ;) It really varies with people. I haven't met Haddy in person but he obviously has charisma that appeals to people, whether he is Deaf or hearing.

    As for that perfect world, you will have to come to terms that you are not going to find it. Everyone has challenges in life and getting through these challenges make us better people. "The Four Agreements" by Miguel Ruiz really help me:
    1) Don't take things personally
    2) Don't make assumptions
    3) Be impeccable with your word
    4) Always do your best

    Hope they help you, too! =)

  6. Love what Keri has said. Also, I know what you mean about your son being a kid magnet -- Duncan LOVES both of your children. Neither could do any wrong. I think it's because they notice him and include him -- how could Duncan not be under a spell like that. You have some very special kids, my friend!

    PS: Merry New Year!

  7. PPS: I noticed Keri's photo -- Keri, it's been a few years so I'm not certain, but are you Teacher Keri? Did you sub for Mel a few times? If so, HI!!!

  8. Liz, I'm actually a teacher but I've never met Mel in person so I can't be the person you are thinking of. =)