Wednesday, 15 August 2012


I'm a Deaf dad with a two year old hearing son.  I wish to remain anonymous and Harry is not my son's real name.  This way, I can blog in a more honest style without worrying about what other people think.

Before Harry came along I worried incessantly about being a father.  I think a lot of dads-to-be fret about the added responsibility and wonder how their lives will be changed when they have a child to look after and bring up.

I actually hoped that our first one would be a girl and was amazed when it turned out to be a boy.  The moment I saw Harry as a new born I know that everything would be OK.  He would fall asleep on my chest for hours as a baby, with his wee legs tucked up under his chest.  This dad to son contact really helped us bond during the first few months. Both Mum and I knew that Harry would be hearing, as he would kick in Mum's womb if he heard a loud noise

Harry is now two and I just couldn't imagine life without him.  One thing that I now understand is that parenthood is universal.  Harry doesn't perceive me thought the prism (or should that be prison?) of my deafness like many hearing people, instead he accepts me as his father.  That is both liberating and also in a funny way quite terrifying.

What I am going to do in this blog is describe how I cope with being a Deaf father attempting to raise my hearing son.  My role is very different from most fathers, as I have to raise Harry to become a fully participating member of the hearing world that he will one day join as an independent adult.  Most parents bring up their children to embrace their culture or key aspects of what is important to them.  In my case, I am in a minority group and have to raise my son to be part of a community that I can never join, the hearing community.

I prefer to communicate with Harry via oral speech, same as his Mum.  I do know sign language and sometimes use sign with Harry.  The only reason we talk to Harry is that speech was our first language.  Even though I am oral Deaf, I still strongly identify as being in a minority group with its own language and culture. 

Harry is what is called a Child Of A Deaf Adult, or CODA.  Here is a wikipedia link that describes the CODA experience:

It is interesting to see that many CODA's share common experiences about being in between two cultures, even if the household they grew up in was oral or signing.  Harry is part of a special group, hearing yet with Deaf parents.

I hope you enjoy the stories to come.

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