August 16, 2005 > Parenting a deaf child
Parenting a deaf child
Local author recounts experiences raising deaf daughter
When she was seven, my daughter Miranda surprised me one day while I was minding my own business, reading the newspaper. She interrupted me and asked a question that I was totally unprepared for. She looked at me with her big brown eyes and signed, "Did you want a deaf baby?"
I was still for a moment, almost as if the wind had been knocked out of me. "Oh, my God!" I thought to myself, "What is she asking me? Is she asking what I think she is asking?"
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, unconditional acceptance? Or does she just want to know in the same way she might have asked did I want a blond-haired daughter or a brown-haired one?"
This is one of the many real-life scenarios author Richard Medugno portrays in his latest book, Deaf Daughter, Hearing Father - his own personal account of raising his deaf daughter, Miranda. The book recounts the remarkable story of their journey together during the first 14 years of her life.
In Deaf Daughter, Hearing Father, Medugno shares practical information on the many common challenges faced by hearing parents. He provides a list of games that hearing and deaf children can play together; an important consideration for many families. His enthusiasm for all possibilities, from exploring the potential of videophones to helping stage plays for the California School for the Deaf in Fremont, reveal his abiding devotion to Miranda. Such a foundation has enabled her to feel proud, confident and happy in her pursuits.
Medugno, a Fremont resident and former contributor and theatre critic for Tri-City Voice, says, "Writing this book was a great joy as I recalled the accomplishments my daughter, son, wife and I achieved as we confronted the challenges of having a deaf family member. It has been a lot more fun and rewarding than I ever imagined it could be. Getting the book published is just icing on the cake."
Deaf Daughter, Hearing Father is published by Gallaudet University Press, Washington D.C., and can be purchased at http://gupress.gallaudet.edu/bookpage/DDHFbookpage.html for $24.95 or from other online sellers, including Amazon.com, Borders and Barnes & Noble at discounted prices.