Deaf Daughter, Hearing Father
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: Gallaudet University Press
Title Page, Copyright
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When I first envisioned Deaf Daughter, Hearing Father it was as a kind of a Chicken Soup for the Parent of a Deaf Child. I wanted to write short, pithy, and easily digestible pieces about my experience raising a deaf child. It was suggested to me by Gallaudet University Press editor Ivey Pittle Wallace that a narrative...
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The story of having a deaf daughter truly begins for me in 1990, more than a year before she was born. I was a thirty-one-year-old American, living with my Canadian wife, Brenda Paddon, and our year-old son, Terence, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I was working for the Ontario Medical Association in an administrative support job that paid the rent...
2. "So How Are You Planning to Communicate with Your Little Girl?"
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As one would expect, the first few months after Miranda's diagnosis were eventful and difficult. I believe Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's stages of grief are applicable to parents finding out they have a deaf (or disabled) child: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I certainly experienced...
3. Preschool and Deaf Role Models
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We were excited and happy when Miranda was accepted into the Happy Hands preschool at the Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf (BRCD), located in the North York borough of Toronto, a twenty-minute drive from our home in East York. This special preschool's mission is to provide a signing environment for deaf children and the hearing...
4. Visiting Deaf Schools
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In a few years, Miranda would outgrow the Happy Hands preschool at the Bob Rumball Centre for the deaf (BRCD), and we needed to make a decision about where she would attend elementary schools. Because I am an American and Brenda is a Canadian, we had the flexibility to live in either country. We were willing to pack up and...
5. Hearing Brother, Deaf Sister
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Being the sibling of a deaf brother or sister is not easy. There are many issues besides the normal sibling rivalries. The biggest one is, of course, communication. As our son Terence began to go to school, is became apparent that we were going to have to work hard at getting him to communicate with his sister Miranda in her natural language...
6. "California Here We Come..."
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Miranda was a student at the Happy Hands Preschool at the Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf (BRCD) for nearly three years before we left Canada for northern California so she could attend the renowned California School for the Deaf (CSDF) in the city of Fremont on the southeast edge...
7. Kindergarten at CSDF
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In late August, 1996 on the weekend before school began, the California School for the Deaf, Fremont, (CSDF) held an orientation for new students and their parents. Parents who didn't live nearby stayed in the school's residential cottages, the same ones that students stay in during the year. In addition...
8. Starting Elementary School
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The California school for the Deaf (CSDF) Elementary School serves five grade levels and is located on the north end of campus. The single-floor building is designed with the classrooms on the outside and a central common area called a pod on the inside. There is a pod per every four classrooms. In...
9. "Did You Want A Deaf Baby?"
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I'm hearing. Her mother is hearing. Her older brother is hearing. We had never known a deaf person in our lives until the day she was born. "What is the subtext of her question?" I thought. My mind raced. "Is she asking if I wanted her? Is she looking for acceptance...
10. Joining the "A" Class
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In the fall of 1999, our lobbying efforts finally paid off and Miranda was elevated to the A class of the third grade. Her teacher was Julie Baer, a young deaf woman who Miranda really liked. We were thrilled that Miranda responded to the challenges, demands, and higher expecations of the A class...
11. Famous Folks and the Fourth-Grade Boycott
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California School for the Deaf (CSDF) elementary school instructor Ed Copra, Miranda's fourth-grade teacher, was a hearing man who had been a teacher at the school for more than twenty years. Though we found him a little on the eccentric side, both Brenda and I liked Ed. Other parents with children...
12. Fifth Grade and Elementary School Graduation
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Randi's fifth-grade instructor was first-year teacher Vanessa Sandez who was perky, cute, and just graduated from college. As Vanessa's first class of students, I'm sure Randi and her classmates (four boys and four girls) will always hold a special place in her heart. I think because of Vanessa youth, enthusiasm, and sweet...
13. Middle School, Break Out the Mascara
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The Middle School at the California School for the Deaf (CSDF) is aptly named as it sits between the elementary school and the high school. Its buildings have the same setup as the elementary school, with central pods surrounded by classrooms. The key difference is that there are lockers...
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Randi completed her first year in middle school, experiencing some bumps in the road but earning some honors. Her poster for D.A.R.E. (drug abuse resistance education) won first prize and was featured on the program for their ceremony graduation. Her drawing depicts a young preteen, not...
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Page Count: 184
Illustrations: 15 photographs
Publication Year: 2005