Friday, 19 July 2013

Why the 'deaf' brain IS different.

How the deafened and acquired deaf brains are really not the same as born-deaf ones.   There is a lot of hoo-haa attached to how the brain adapts to deafness. Some of it laughable when they attach spiritual aspects to being deaf.  Personally I ignore born deaf views on this as an irrelevance since they cannot offer opinions based on before and after hearing.  They cannot offer comparison.  The born deaf brain doesn't adapt the same way as ours does, I find surveys ridden with deaf politics and cultural bias to get any basic sense of it all.   You say potato we say po-tah-to.  Fuelling  the' deaf is a wonderful state to be in', I find personally annoying and at times insensitive.  Not fun and games for everyone.. 

You need to survey the acquired and deafened sectors to get any accurate view on brain adaptations communication-wise. I distinctly recall an advert from a university in Northern England that wanted deaf people to participate in research into this issue, I volunteered and got a letter back stating they only wanted (Born/cultural), 'Deaf' people, the assumption being we were hearing or 'not deaf' or something..   Deaf politics in action and pointlessly useless.   ANY disability is going to force you to adapt some way or the other.  Barriers are very much different too.  Loss defines disability.  You don't miss what you never had anyway. Most but not all, is defined psychologically in our case.   

Acquired and deafened will continue striving to regain what they lost, we know it is a pointless excersize but we still go for it.   We want better hearing aids, better CI's, research into cures, communication that really does enable us to re-link to hearing etc....We might pick up hints that  some heightened sense visually will pick up, but again knowledge of a hearing world is our extra help to follow, there is a constant trade-off to want to HEAR, that confuses everything, and hinders, this will block in part the brain's instinctive response to utilise areas born deaf do, so yes, we can overcome a brain's natural response to use alternatives, or to best effect.. We may not adapt to the point where a born deaf person will who has no other option.

This is usually and often incorrectly viewed as, not wanting to appear like born deaf  that use sign language, culture etc, sorry, our response has not much at all to do with that.  We are born hearing, we just don't lose that, nor want to.  Lip reading perfectly whilst a wonderful utopian aim, would still never convince us we are the same as we were hearing, but we still wouldn't view ourselves as deaf either, there is always that hindrance to acceptance.  It's NOT denial in the real sense, which it is often attributed to.  I'd suggest near all of us never accept our hearing loss.

This is no bad thing and I don't buy it holds us back, it fuels CURES and ALLEVIATION (And gives charity a reason for existing).  They don't just exist to teach people sign language. MOST don't.

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