Sunday, December 9

Does She Lipread?

I am starting to really get annoyed with that question? When we are at a playcare, McDonalds, ordering food or anywhere that there is involvement with hearing people I get that question right after the OOOHHH. Rebecca is a very outgoing child and I love that about her. She will start talking and you can tell that she is deaf from her voice. I will start signing to Rebecca what that person just said and they will say, "OHHHHH, does she lipread?" In other words, I really wanted to talk to her, but if she can't read lips I don't have the time for you to interpret for me.

I say, "Yes, she can lipread a little bit - but it is better if we sign and talk to her". They may stick around and talk a little more but you can see their attitude changed the moment I said yes. I have also said in the conversation that she has an implant and that is like giving the hearing person a license to not look at her as much when they talk, so I don't point it out unless they ask. I have also noticed that they tend to talk to me after they know that she is deaf, not to her. That is also annoying. You are having the conversation with her, not me. This even happened with Santa Claus.

There have been a couple of instances where people have talked to her more than me and thos people normally have some experience with the deaf community or even know some signs.

How do you respond to the question, "Do you lipread?" Is it easier to just say yes or is there a better response? I have educated the people that we talk to all the time, but the others I generally just tell them yes-a little bit and go on. I mean she is ten - lipreading is very difficult I have tried it and find it very tiring and hard. She can get around fine in the hearing world and has had to be left without an interpreter and has been fine. This is not the norm and I do try to be there with her or at least have her sister with her to help, but there are some instances that we have not been able to avoid. I am hoping those times will help her be able to cope in the hearing world better. We have learned to ask ahead of time if someone can be there to interpret, most of the time there is not and I try to be there. We were also caught off guard one time at church without an interpreter - it was a special event and I just assumed there would be someone there - there was not and the speaker had a beard, an accent and carried the mic in front of his face. I learned my lesson very quickly.

Anyway, I got a little off track - "Do you lipread?" What are you feelings on that question? Personally, it irritates me and just tells me that they are looking for the easy way out.

14 comments:

mishkazena said...

I would say, yes she can lipread, however you must face her so she can lipread you. If talking slower, but naturally helps, add that tidbit too.

Most hearing people are clueless and as a reult, they feel uncomfortable, prefering to talk to a hearing person. Unfortunately some are rather dismissive of deaf people including kids, showing audism.


You can be your child's advocate, prompting the hearing person gently to redirect their talk to the child.

DEAF NAVY USA said...

CAN YOU READ MY LIPS ?? USALLY WE CANNOT DO READ TOO FAST TO READ IT CAUSE THEY DONT KNOW WHO I AM DEAF PERSON BUT SOMETIMES WHEN THEY RUDE TO DEAF PEOPLE KEEP GOING SAY AGAIN AGAIN SOMETIME I SAID CAN YOU "READ MY SIGN LANGAUGE " WHEN I ORDER THE MCDONALD EASY TELL BY NUMBER WHAT YOU WANT FOR COMBO THEY WILL KNOW WHAT YOU WANT. I THINK BEST FOR YOU GO TO TAKE CLASS FOR SIGN LANGAUGE IN NIGHT COLLEGE WHERE TAKE SIGN LANGAUGE CLASS OR GO TO HEARING IMPAIRED NIGHT CLASS THAT WHAT MY DAD WENT THERE AND LEARN SIGN LANGAUGE CAUSE OF ME BEING DEAF CHILD BUT I LOVE COMMUCATION EASY AND ALSO THEY HAVE SIGN LANGAUGE VEIDO TAPES YOU CAN LOOK UP IN WWW.HARRISCOMM. COM THEY HAVE SIGN LANGAUGE BOOK OR VEIDO WHAT YOU LIKE TO PICK AND LEARN LOTS OF THEM AND ALSO YOU CAN LOOK UP IN DEAFREAD VEIDO WITH CLOSED CAPTION SO YOU CAN WATCH THE SIGN LANGAUGE COUPLE OF THEM. GOOD LUCK AND LEARN LOTS OF MORE EDUCATION LIKE US. GIVE TIME TO KNOW SIGN LANGAUGE IN YEAR OR MORE LATER YOU WILL KNOW MORE SIGN LANGAUGE MAKE CHILD BE HAPPY.

Wolfers said...

Yup- I get that question a lot when I am out there, especially in social events. I lipread pretty good but I tend to say no.

Deaf Pixie said...

Oh, man! I know how you feel when you heard the person asked you about if she can lipread. Not friendly and cold person. I agree with you that your children is blessing that you adopting them.
Your daughter are so fortuned to have you and your husband adopted.

Very frustrated and hard understand what child(s) vision are not always effective on lipread. You know what I mean. I knew that you adored your adoption daughters. You are very unqiue parents who willing to adopted the girls. That's wonderful!

I hope they love Christmas special to the girls,too..

Anonymous said...

I am really amazed at how much you seem to understand your daughter's struggles. I wish all parents were as open-minded as you. As for whether I lipread, I used to say yes, and like your daughter, that was their license to just blab on and on and on. It didn't work. So then I started to say no, and they give me this sad look, and I feel as if they're looking down on me for not having learned to lipread. Hello! Only 60% of the English language is lipreadable anyway! I guess you could take this as a learning opportunity and explain that the majority of deaf people don't lipread because it isn't effective anyway. I think most people learn this from TV, that deaf people can lipread and understand everything that people say :-(

deafk said...

Grinning, welcome to our world!! The attitude of hearing people are like that, and we need to study how to change that. This is calling audism. I just wrote one here in my blog, smile!!

http://blog.deafread.com/1234k/2007/12/09/another-deaf-organization-is-much-needed/

deafk

leahlefler said...

Ugh- a difficult situation. Our little guy is only 3 months old so I'm not sure how I'd handle the situation. People who haven't tried lipreading should try saying "I love you" and "Island view" and realize that they look the same!

gnarlydorkette said...

"Can you read my hands?" :-)

I usually say NO for many situations, but I always encourage them to just talk to me, and I will try my best at understanding them (body language, lipread, whatever). If they ask me a question, I will just sign back-- if they don't understand me, I will move on to gestures or to a paperpad.

I think you need to let your child know what she can do-- and how she will respond: via signs, writing, or vocal?

Because when people finds out you can lip read, they ASSUME lipreading is just like hearing-- not even CLOSE. They don't know how to keep their head still, they don't know how to NOT mumble, they don't know how to enable the Deaf person to lipread them effectively...

So for all of those hassles, I just cut it in the bud and say "no" when they ask if I can lipread. (Yet they didn't realize that I actually did lipread and understood their question!!!)

So have all scenarios covered by discussing with your child and empower her with choices she can take if she finds herself in those lipreading situations.

(And BE MORE FORCEFUL to have them LOOKING at the child, not you. Be blunt if you need, "Look at her, not me, she is the one you want to talk to." They don't know how and they look at you for help-- so HELP them by directing them around.)

fintan said...

Best way to get them to ask her!
If she cannot lipread them ( i know its not easy) and they don't make an effort they are not worth getting to know!

On my blog you see a picture of me and Des.. he has ushers and he does not let things like that get to him.
Shocked to find out that he recently did a sky dive but good on him.

We dont consider to have a disablity but its the abled people to are a barrier to us !

Blog www.gaughan.co.uk

Lolypup said...

Lip reading is one of the biggest myths in deaf education as a method of encouraging parents to embrace oral education for their children. While oral education for the deaf is perfectly acceptable for many, thats not the issue we are discussing here.

While you say your daughter can lip read a little, I would bet its not even that well. Once she is older and able to articulate her own experience im sure she will tell you that herself.

However what most deaf people and I assumer your daughter as well has mastered actually called speech reading, which requires much more than the movement of lips. It requires facial gestures, body movement, contexual information related to the conversation and other clues that help a deaf person "figure out" speech from a hearing person.

So the next time someone asks if she can read lips you can answer with confidence that no she cant that she depends on much more to communicate including the use of ASL.

Never be afraid to say she cant do something and more importantly never be afraid to say she can.

Hearing people, they ask the funniest questions...

Once on a flight I had an attendant come over and ask me something, I indicated I was deaf.

He returned with a pen and paper and on the pad he had written, "Can you read?"

- Lolypup

Anonymous said...

You're very perceptive! That question annoys many Deaf people too, as if that solves everything.

Usually I say "no" or "only a little" so they don't take license to jabber at me a mile a minute, and lets me out of it by smiling and giving the "please write" signal.

Lipreading is a guessing game and highly inaccurate as everybody will tell you. Better not to have anything to do with it except for social pleasantries.

A Deaf Pundit said...

They are looking for an easy way out. :)

I would respond along the lines of, "A bit. Do you sign?"

That should get the message across.

kw said...

Even the **greatest** lipreader only lipreads a little bit because it's only physically possible see about 30% of all English sounds on the tongue and lips. The rest take place in the back of the throat-- as I'm sure you know. Then there are all the variables-- from poor lighting to beards to accents. The truth is we do need to hear a little bit in order to lip read, otherwise we're guessing at least 70 percent of the time, so the more background noise there is, the harder it will be to lipread. Obviously it's awkward to launch into this full-blown explanation with every person you meet, though I do inform close friends and family of the many difficulties. My usual short response to this question when I first meet someone is Yes I lip read **some** and it helps if that person faces me-- because it does help a lot! I also tell them I am learning ASL and I appreciate signing if they know it but most don't, however I am surprised how many DO sign a couple things.

Your daughter is going to be getting this question her entire life and she's going to take her cue from you how to handle it. I just want to say one final thing here. Yes-- it's irritating that most people have not met other deaf/Deaf people and don't know how to react to your daughter. The best thing to do is to be friendly, informative and matter-of-fact. When someone asks you a question that should be asked to your daughter, instead of answering for her, repeat the question to your daughter and let her do the answering. In this way, you will let that person know that your daughter is a person who can speak for herself.

"Does she lipread?"
"Sweetie--Mrs.___ asked if you lipread?" Maybe you already do this, I don't know, but don't let them get away with talking to you about your daughter right in front of her, as if she's some kind of pet who can't talk. ;-)

deafk said...

Good AM,

I just wanted to say that the comments are very good informative!! So glad you asked us, :D!

deafk