The Effects Of Deafness On Deaf Children

1669 WordsApr 17, 20177 Pages
Deafness has been viewed as a negative label regarding someone with a hearing loss. The term Deaf is considered to be a disability solely on the fact that an individual who is Deaf is not “normal” due to their hearing loss. Most individuals do not believe that there are any benefits or positives from being Deaf, nor do they believe that a Deaf individual will ever be able to live a happy and fulfilled life. Deaf individuals do not view themselves as disabled nor do they view their lives as a loss, rather they view their Deafness as a Gain. This is called Deaf Gain, meaning there are many positives that Deafness brings to the world. According to H-Dirksen Bauman and Joseph Murray, “Deaf Gain is defined as a reframing of ‘deaf’ as a form of…show more content…
According to Deaf Studies scholar Ben Bahan,”Deaf people are visually-oriented to the world around them” (Deaf Studies Digital Journal, 2009). Therefore, Deaf individuals are more aware of their surroundings in comparison to a hearing individual who uses an oral language to communicate. Using a visual-based language has a Gain to the Deaf individuals perception of understanding the world, but hearing individuals can also benefit from learning a visual language, such as American Sign Language. Learning American Sign Language as a second language and becoming bilingual can help brain development as well as academic success. According to Laura-Ann Petitto who is a cognitive neuroscientist explains that, “being exposed to two languages from birth and in particular, being exposed to a signed and spoken language from birth does not cause a child to be language delayed and confused” (Petitto, 2001), rather the brain can handle dual languages. Being bilingual can enhance cognitive development and particularly learning sign language can increase reading and spelling scores. Petitto found from her research that “children who’ve had early exposure to sign language are actually stronger readers in English than children who are deaf and who have not had access to sign language as well as monolingual hearing English children” (Petitto, 2001). Sign language also helps individuals master spelling by fingerspelling words. Although there are many benefits for brain
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