Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Travels Through The Aging Mind

I feel like I have deaf education pretty well covered in my life. Research, workshops, networking, moving, advocating  and parenting. Yep, got that covered. Now after all that hard work we can rest just a bit and enjoy the ride. Live a normal life. Not worry so much.

Well lets not get too comfortable. My mother has dementia.

Mom is sick.. the hours spent serving a deaf son are now spent serving a ......... very sick person. The bean bags we chucked past Haddy don't matter here.

The other day he jumped out of my car mad, I wanted to chuck the brush at him, I didn't because we are still connected at the hip.

So the new topic is,

How do you get your  Deaf kids attention? I have an entire list ....


  1. Spit balls. I told my son to tear any paper trash and make a Paper ball if he need my attention and I'm not wearing my CI.

  2. Text messaging works too if he have one. Still his responsibility to check around him.

    If he gets old, he's no difference than others who won't wear HAs(I had experience with them. They just shove their HAs in the drawer...sometimes nurses don't bother with it because they are causing problems with them)

  3. Keep a $2. laser pointer and wave the red dot within his visual field. He'll have to check to see that it isn't a laser targeted gun. ;-)

    When I was growing up the best method was to pound the table or stamp your foot. It also became a joke among hearing associates who would do the same to each other.

  4. I mostly use the "tap shoulder" approach, especially with young kids. Occasionally I bang on flat surfaces or wave my arm and if that doesn't work, I tap their shoulder.

    Intentional ignoring starts young though - I've definitely seen it in 2 and 3 year olds. They pretend not to see you (sometimes it's blatantly obvious, which is pretty funny) or close their eyes altogether.

    I nipped it by trying to get their attention and signing where I know they could still pick up what I was saying and giving them a warning. If they didn't listen, they'd have to sit until they were ready to. Deaf kids typically have a very wide visual field, so as long as they could see me that was effective.

    Of course teenagers are another story and I don't have much experience with that age group. Text messages? Neon signs? The laser pointer idea may actually work...

  5. Wouldn't use that laser pointer, if I were you. Dangerous to point it at the eyes or at a live electrical socket. I know, from experience.

    Take advantage of deaf kids' peripheral vision-- it's far more enhanced than a hearing kid's. Waving arms or using a repetitive action just at the corner of the eye is annoying as hell. But it'll get his attention.


  6. how can a laser point at a person's eye if he is facing away... I think a laser light can be useful if it is pointing to something that is visible at his direction.

    I need it for my hearing kids. They have ADHD and it's hard to get their attention by yelling.

  7. Thanks for the comments.

    So here is an example of my son's unique ability to ignore me. We pull up to school, he is focused on gathering his things and chasing after a friend. He gets out and walks away sort of closes the door. There is a line of cars behind me waiting. I wave with big gestures and try and get a friend to catch his attention. I look for an object to throw just past him or because I am frustrated at him (the brush) then realize I need to get out and close the door myself. A laser is brilliant!

    Table, floor, and body tapping work great but if a kid is walking away....... out of reach. His vision is aimed at the day ahead not me. It gets frustrating but so does my hearing daughter signing off key for 30 minutes in the car. It is just a parent thing I guess.

    Now if i could just trust he will turn the water off every time he uses the sink.....