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Paperback Deaf Like Me Book

ISBN: 0930323114

ISBN13: 9780930323110

Deaf Like Me

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Deaf Like Me is the moving account of parents coming to terms with their baby girl's profound deafness. The love, hope, and anxieties of all hearing parents of deaf children are expressed here with power and simplicity. In the epilogue, Lynn Spradley as a teenager reflects upon being deaf, her education, her struggle to communicate, and the discovery that she was the focus of her father's and uncle's book. A book at once moving and inspiring, Deaf...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A universal story told in particulars--strongly recommended

"Deaf Like Me" is one of my favorite books of all time in any genre, and I heartily recommend it to anyone who comes across this page. The book is a richly detailed autobiography of one family's struggles to grow up with deafness in mid-1960s America. As such, it provides a terrific introduction into a key moment in the history of deaf education when deaf children were still suffering from a wrong-headed emphasis on lip reading and vocalization, rather than sign language. Members of the deaf community have long heralded the book for this reason. But "Deaf Like Me" isn't a book just for deaf people and others interested in deaf culture. To the contrary, I think, it's a book for anyone who grew up in 1960s America, and possibly for anyone who has struggled to communicate with loved ones ever. That's because there are so many parallels between this little family's struggles to learn how to communicate with one another against a background of changing norms and great uncertainty, and the difficulties that many American families went through in the 1960s to speak with and understand one another on issues ranging from civil rights to the Vietnam war. Such struggles afflict most generations everywhere. None of this is to suggest that I think the authors of "Deaf Like Me" intended to write a metaphorical treatise on 1960s America much less humanity. To the contrary, I believe the authors' sole focus was on the Spalding family's particular struggles. One of the authors was a trained anthropologist, and that comes through in the book's unerring attention to details as opposed to generalizations. It's these details in large part that bring the book to life. Nonetheless, as a hearing person with no deaf family members, I found myself identifying with this book a lot. I suffered as the little girl Lynn and her parents suffered. And I rejoiced in their discovery that everyone in the family can express themselves and be understood if only they learn to "hear" one another in the different ways that each of us has to communicate. Strongly recommended.

A Landmark Book

Tell-alls by parents of disabled kids is a genre now, but when Deaf Like Me first was published, it was an unusual book for the market. The story is of the Spradley family, and daughter Lynn, who is one of many children born Deaf in the US in the late sixties and early seventies, the result of an epidemic of Rubella (German Measles).At the time Lynn's deafness was diagnosed, the common wisdom among hearing professionals was that children born deaf should not be exposed to any kind of sign language, and instead should receive intensive tutoring, even as infants, in speaking and speechreading. Although the tide would turn soon, the Spradleys had no way of anticipating that; they embarked on an odyssey of trying to teach Lynn to speak, and with a hearing aid, and by watching intently, to appear to listen as a hearing child.After many years of pouring words into Lynn, with the promise from the experts that one day Lynn would finally pour the words back out, the Spradleys are frustrated with not being able to talk to their daughter. Lynn is several years old, and becoming a discipline problem.Then one day, the Spradleys meet a five year old, signing Deaf child, a child who not only communicates with her parents, but makes jokes. The Spradleys are forced to reconsider years of expert advice balanced against one little girl who can talk to her parents, where their daughter cannot.How the Spradleys learn to stand on their own, and disregard the experts, even in the face of some heavy censure, is the story of heroism. This is a book to own, because you will want to return to it again and again.

An amazing true story!!!

This is an amazing story of a family who strugles when they realize that their little girl is deaf. The story they tell is so true of so many hearing parents of deaf children (90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents). I am a student at Northern Illinois Universtiy and am studying to become a teacher for deaf children. The whole time that I read this book I just kept saying to myself. LET HER SIGN!!! They it made me laugh when all the parents came together and started to talk about the behavior problems their children had. I sat back and said to myself.."do you think it is because they can't communicate what they want and are frustrated?" This is a must read for any parent of a deaf baby!!!!

A personal story, artfully told, with lessons for all.

Over 90% of deaf children in the US have hearing parents, and perhaps the first thing those parents learn is that the single word "deaf" is unable to convey the wide range of hearing losses lumped under the term "deaf", and with that, the consequently wide range of options that Deaf people have for dealing with life. Since each Deaf story is so uniquie, though, it is all the more wonderful that the Spradley family was able to tell the highly individualistic story of their deaf daughter Lynn (now a young adult) in such way that it holds the interest of, and teaches valuable lessons to, the families of other deaf chidlren, regardless of their particular situation. Curious how one family can learn things about itself while reading the story of another family, but that's what happened with us. This more "humane" book is also welcome break from the reams of more techical reading that most hearing parents must plow through as part of helping their deaf children. I recommend this book warmly.

Very important book for parents of hearing impaired children

As the mother of a hearing impaired child, I highly recommend this book. I read it shortly after our son's diagnosis (in April of 1996) at the age of one year. Although we were just beginning this remarkable journey of raising a child with a disability, I found great comfort in the struggles and triumphs of this loving family. It was easy to identify with their need to communicate with their child. And I agree completely with their choice to use a mode of commuication which is easiest for the child. Over the past 2 1/2 years, we have come to the conclusion that we must adapt our world to meet the needs of our child, rather than expecting him to adapt to ours without the necessary tools. I applaud this family for their courageous decision!
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