Oral Education as an Unacceptable Gamble

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The following article was written at 19 Nov 1995 by a DEAF-L subscriber (who asked to withhold his name), as part of an argument with a proponent of oral education for deaf children and implanting children with cochlear implants.


The problem, is that there are some things in which there is no right and wrong and opinions should be respected.

However, there are some things in life that should not be tolerated. Child abuse is one. Sex abuse is another. Putting a child on a high-risk track which has permanently and seriously hurt so many (but not all) children is also another.

Maybe that's okay for you. I am not going to tolerate it nor will I be an enabler.

The difference here between you and me is that you feel that the risks are worthwhile and if it fails, that's okay. I feel that the risk with such tremendous potiential for serious and permanent damage is not acceptable. This is especially so when the child could be put on a different track which can and will and has achieved the same level of success with much much less risk of damage.

Too many parents are not told about:

  • the risks
  • the potiential damage inflicted when it fails
  • the alternative track with much less risk.

What makes it so offensive is when parents are supposedly told about the althernative risks but given blatantly false propaganda such as that it will limit the child from the world, enable the child to communicate with only 0.1% of the world, and the child cannot even order pizza on his/her own. To make it even more offensive is when some parents are being sold on the track you advocate without even being told or explained clearly on the tremendous risks and the damage that could result from it.

I love to gamble, yes, and I have a pretty good winning percentage, but I won't gamble with another person's life and livelhood.