During my doctoral studies, I had the honor of interviewing d/Deaf adults who grew up in hearing families nationwide as a part of my doctoral program, and the study was approved by the IRB at Rutgers. Just like I told my interviewees, I have shared some of their stories on this website. This project has really been a communal labor of love, and I am indebted to them.
During the interviews, we talked about their experiences growing up d/Deaf in hearing families. I asked them if there was anything they thought people should know about having a d/Deaf child, or about their experiences in general. Here's some of what they shared . . .
"In high school, wow, I really convinced myself that I was Hard of Hearing (HH), not deaf. I wanted so hard to believe that. I wanted to believe that I was HH and could go to class with an interpreter and catch it all...
Growing up was very frustrating.
My family would be chatting and having fun and I would have no idea what was going on.
I would be struggling, trying to
read lips, and failing.
I always knew I was different.
When I went to elementary school, I was with people like me, but oral.
I identified as hearing impaired.
It was definitely hard, because I couldn’t understand things 100% of the time.
Like at dinner time, that was the worst, because everyone is eating and you miss things, so I preferred to