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Published on Jul 12, 2012
If 90% of Deaf children are born to Hearing parents, where and how are our young Deaf children becoming acculturated?
Reports that Deaf individuals are twice as likely to have a mental health problem strikes me as uninteresting and unsurprising. This is a statistic born out of 'Structural Violence'. We are systematically destined to have issues. Why?
Imagine: Absence of healthy language models. Absence of Deaf role models. Absence of healthy family environment (if your child is Deaf, uses ASL, and you as a parent don't know ASL by default you DO NOT have a healthy family dynamic) Absence of access to cultural knowledge. Absence of healthy self-identity.
I'm not Leonardo DiCaprio and unfortunately this isn't "Inception", no this is not a dream, this is the reality of the system we live in, the mental health data are findings churned out by the realities of structural violence.
Where are the psychology classes, the Deafhood discussion classes, the Social Studies classes, Deaf Art, Deaf Poetry, Deaf Lit, and the Deaf History knowledge that our Deaf children are owed and should be afforded at any cost? Why aren't these offered in school? Instead society denies us this information, corrupts our self identity, offers disillusionment, but then complains that we're a burden to society. Furthermore, this 'burden' is a business that has been privatized and governmentally sanctioned. Do you realize how our system rewards those who provide 'correctional services' to the very problem that the system created? In addition to the 'fringe services' that hearing people get filthy rich from -- taking advantage of a self-image broken down by structural violence, creating a perceived need for C.I. Hearing Aid, Speech Therapy, Audiologist, IEP (please note the use of the term 'NEED' and not 'want'. If you work in the above fields my point is not to dismiss and devalue the service you provide to those who truly WANT it).
Wellbeing is a rare flower to blossom in a defunct and soiled system. Mental health problems is twice the rate it is amongst Deaf than it is compared to the majority hearing population? No, this does not surprise me.