Being a father is an amazing thing in and of itself, but helping to raise a child with the challenges I face is a rewarding experience and one I wouldn’t change for the world.
Most people would never guess that my son’s dad is deaf and has Tourette Syndrome but, as I’m still learning, it’s made him into a better person, as it has me.
From the beginning he’s been an especially sensitive child. He sees someone hurting and immediately tries to help. He sees an injustice and immediately tries to right the wrong. In relation to my TS and deafness, I believe him to be better for having two deaf parents, with one having TS, coparent him.
He grew up with American Sign Language and has seen how hearing people treat the deaf. He’s fluent in ASL and often makes fast friends of deaf children. ASL was his first language and that was a problem in itself for a first time parent. But he has become keenly aware of the challenges deaf people face … More so than most hearing people ever get to know.
As a child of deaf adults (CODA), his upbringing is naturally different from most. His support and love and understanding has helped me through many difficulties just because he was there. For example, when I decided to have surgery to attain my Cochlear Implant, him helping me out of the car (at five years old) and to rest at home was amazing!
As the first post of a regular feature, I just wanted to introduce to you the perspective of being deaf and having Tourette Syndrome that you might not think about; that of being the parent of a child without any of that.
I hope you enjoyed this first entry. More to come!
“In life, risk is part of the equation…”