Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mom did a NO-NO...


Today I took a trip to Target, with all 3 boys, to pick up a few things. As we walked into the electronics department, Logan lagged behind getting distracted by a Batman DVD he saw. Near me was a older gentleman talking on the phone to what seemed to be a cell phone company. Logan picked up the DVD and began to call Tanner's name to show him what he had found. Tanner's name is very difficult for Logan to pronounce, it usually comes out like "Ah-Ah". When Tanner didn't look his way he began to yell his name louder and louder and louder to get his attention. I then heard the older gentleman holler out, "Could someone quiet that kid down?" I immediately became irate, left my other two children in the cart and walked over to the man. I then did something that I said I would never do (no...I didn't slug the guy), I blamed Logan's deafness for the scene he had just caused. I sarcastically apologized for Logan and rudely explained that my son was deaf and was just trying to communicate with his brother and that he has a difficult time with volume control. I wanted to make him feel guilty for being so rude, so I pulled out the deaf card. As I was confronting the man, two other men came to also defend Logan using profane language to express their "disgust for people being insensitive." I grabbed Logan and walked away as the men proceeded to 'discuss' the issue. As I calmed down, I began to feel awful for what I had just done. Although the man could have been kinder with his words, he didn't know Logan was deaf and was not trying to attack his deafness. I went back to sincerely apologize to the man, but he had already gone.

I think this has been weighing on me for the last few weeks. For some reason Logan's "volume control" has been getting worse and the people in this new city have definitely noticed. This is the 4th or 5th comment I have received implying that I need to quiet down my son (although the other comments were tactful and kind). Church has also been slightly uncomfortable for me since Logan has somehow forgotten how to use an inside voice and always has so much to say.

I know I shouldn't care what strangers think of me and my son, but it's makes my outings less stressful when we blend in to the crowd like everyone else. I also think this is an important thing for him to master, especially with school starting soon. I have tried teaching him at home to mimic a whisper and what the difference is between loud and soft. He is not getting it, or maybe he just doesn't want to! So...any suggestions on how to get Logan to know the difference between a loud voice, a normal voice and a quiet, inside voice? He seems to only have one setting--extra loud!

10 comments:

~FRANCOM FUN~ said...

i think you had ever right!!!!!!
Even if he wasn't deaf, adults shouldn't be so rude! the rude ones proably dont have kids so they don't know what it's like!

Val said...

I have done the EXACT SAME THING, hated myself for days afterwards, obsessively hated the rude people when I finally realized a better way...for everyone. Number one I hated my deaf child to see that type of reaction from me, I felt like they would think they were somehow responsible when in fact they can't help it, it's the adult's ignorance that is at fault. I don't want to take up all of your space here so basically I decided to still explain the deafness, but in a more approachable way. Granted your guy was on the phone, so there's not a lot of discussion going to take place. Mine was the cashier and another customer! I actually have this story in my book which is coming out really soon, but I was pissed to say the least. I now say something (if possible) before anyone else does, which usually puts everyone at ease. Your job is to make sure your kids are okay, comfortable, confident, so remember that first. Screw everyone else. But you also want to teach him and brothers how to handle these situations when they arise and you aren't there...because they will arise. You don't want some old guy getting away with rude ignorance, or have a brother sock the guy (even though it's tempting)as the boys get older when you can possible teach someone about compassion. Maybe too late sometimes if they speak first, but you can turn it around and make it better for the next little deaf kid that this person meets. Make sense?

Shiloh said...

I am sorry that happened to you. I can understand your frustration. I only have 2 boys, so first of all, I give you major props for venturing into Target with 3 boys! Amazing! Secondly, I can totally relate to the "one volume...loud" thing. Isaac too has a problem with that. Usually when we are at home and he has minimal noise distractions, he is ok. However, when we venture out, the loudness returns in full force. I try to explain to Isaac before we leave the house, that it could be noisy where we are going and it isn't nice to yell in the stores because it hurts people's ears. I then tell him if he needs my attention to talk to me nicely and touch my hand or leg. I don't know if this helps. Sometimes it works for us and sometimes it doesn't. But it may be worth a try. Isaac understands so many things that I sometimes forget that he hears things differently than I do. Eventually they will learn to adapt better...I'm sure of it! Hang in there Mom! You are doing an amazing job!

Mom to Toes said...

That man was beyond rude! Like others said, even if he wasn't deaf, he should never have made that comment. A lot of children have issues with volume control - deaf and not deaf.

The way we tackled teaching Toes how to keep the volume down was to sit with her during quiet times and play a "whisper, whisper" game. We would whisper to her and get her to repeat our words in a whisper.

We took that and used it to teach her about inside voices and outside voices. Now for the most part I can just put my finger to my lips and say "Shhh!" and she quiets down.

Maybe his SLP could also make some suggestions on ways to work with him.

As far as the rude guy goes, I can totally understand why you would feel remorse for letting emotion take over. I would be feeling the same way. But, I hope something good came from it and he thinks twice before speaking the next time.

leahlefler said...

OH, man. I would have wanted to slug that guy, too! We haven't gotten any comments yet (Nolan's still a baby), but we have gotten stares when Nolan goes into one of his loud "AAAHHHHHHH" noise moments (I think he likes the sound and vibration of his own LOUD voice).

Your inner-mama-bear just came out and I wouldn't beat myself up over that. And hey, the man who we shall call "Mr. Critical" probably learned a dear lesson about judging a situation too quickly. Maybe he'll be kinder the next time he runs across loud children (including my hearing, but sometimes obnoxious, older son)!

MB said...

Music is a very good way to teach the concept of soft and loud. You can start with drumming, something that's very tactile, and then progress to singing to transfer the concept to voices.

Alexi said...

Hi, I'm a 27 year-old male CI-user and I've been reading your blog via the Deaf Village aggregator for a few weeks now. You have my admiration for the work you're doing with Logan. My mother was much the same way in doing AVT with me.

Speaking for myself, I figured out in my teens (soon after I got the CI when I was 12) that the biggest reason why I would "talk loudly" (the polite way of saying that I was yelling) was because I was trying to hear myself speak. Fact is, even with the CI, I can't hear myself in a non-quiet environment.

Logan may be too young to understand/do self-modulation... Or maybe Logan's mapping is too soft? I don't know as I'm not a professional.

I inadvertently "spoke loudly" off and on well into late childhood and what my family did to let me know I was too loud was to casually do the the quiet down wave. (looks like the motion for patting a small child on the head) Hope that helps...

K.L. said...

Volume control is a continuing issue with my daughter also. We work on it in her speech therapy, and in the past when it was a bigger problem, I've had it added to her IEP. For their sakes, kids do need to learn volume control. Much as I'd like to be able to rise above public comments, it is easier to "fit in" than to stand out. And the kids will be happier in social settings with other kids if they can do that.

Corbridge's said...

Hi Logan- I miss you. I love you.

-Tyson

Nadia said...

Oh, i feel for you. Older people do make some terrible comments. Living in Florida is probably even harder in that way. I am so grateful for your blog. Thank you for posting about the language games. I am trying to figure out the whole two langauge thing with Sonia.

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