Parenting CODA: Child(ren) of Deaf Adult(s)

On Mother Father Deaf, a CODA (child of deaf adults) discusses that CODAs “are not normal or the same as the rest of the hearing world.” I think it depends on the deaf adult and communication preferences. But even if a deaf parent speaks and lipreads, CODAs do experience life a little differently.
I have three kids, all hearing. Don’t want to ever be a burden or an embarrassment to them. I talk about this in a past entry describing my experience in talking to my son’s second grade class. It took a long time before I could muster courage to talk to his class as I didn’t want my deaf accent to reflect how my son’s classmates treat him (stupid, but reality).
I avoid using them to help me in conversations where I’m not catching what someone says. In talking to the second grade class, I relied on the teacher to let me know what a child asks NOT my son. If my son wants to call a friend and Paul (hubby) isn’t around, then either I have him call the friend himself or have big sister help him. Sometimes eight-year-olds don’t accurately recall a phone conversation.
Unless it’s grandma or a close family friend, I don’t answer the phone or let the kids answer it when it’s a service company or doctor’s office. They’re not my administrative assistants and I don’t want their help in anything hearing- or communications-related (in other words, cleaning up is something I expect them to do, but not translate phone calls). If it’s important, the person can leave a message or call Paul’s cell. While some of my kids’ friends’ parents use e-mails, it isn’t always possible to use it when time is a factor. They’re not all e-mail checking freaks like me. Those who are — I do e-mail them.
I imagine for ASL households, it’s a different story in terms that the children might learn ASL first and become bilingual (always a big plus!) at a young age. Actually, I doubt any CODA household is identical with the various factors that can affect CODAs’ lives.


  1. Meryl,
    Absolutely, I agree. I can’t begin to know every household. We are all different and have many differences. Some Codas come from non-signing homes, therefore knowing minimal sign language. Even, my children are being raised differently as well. Thank you for pointing this out.

    • Meryl on July 16, 2007 at 2:51 pm
    • Reply

    Neglected to mention that my oldest (13) has expressed interest in taking ASL in high school, if they offer it. I’m all for it.

  2. Re: Deaf Parenting UK
    I am writing on behalf of Deaf Parenting UK, to invite you to join of this charity.
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