This weekend, my husband and I watched a documentary about cochlear implants. It followed two
brothers who had deaf children.
|An internal view of a choclear implant.
by Maxim Razin, [Public Domain], via WikiMedia
One brother was hearing and the other deaf, and the brother who could hear just found out that his infant son was deaf. He wanted to get the baby the implant which stirred up ire, which sometimes graduated into outright hostility, with his family.
I personally don’t know much about the deaf community, so I can’t really comment on that, but the topic of permanently correcting a disability has always been a theoretical question which fascinates me.
How different would my life have been without dyslexia? Would I come to the same conclusions I do now if my parents were able to do something to change the way my brain is structured before putting me in school?
I tend to think that everything with a negative side has a positive side. Over the years, I’ve learned to spot positive things that dyslexia has given me, like making connections, spotting relationships and creative problem solving skills.
I wouldn’t give those things up, even if it meant I still need to put up with poor working memory, reversals and extreme difficulty with math. Although I’ve learned how to make accommodations for those and other manifestations of my neurodiversity, they still get to me at times.
However, would I have more opportunities without those problems?
Maybe, but maybe not. If I weren’t predisposed to what I am now, wouldn’t I just be more likely to have different interests? How can someone quantify if that would be better or worse?
Of course, there’s also the cost of the cure. I’ve learned that every medical procedure has at least some side effects, be it temporary discomfort or permanent dysfunction.
There’s also the fact that I’m fortunate to live in the time and place I do. As difficult as it can get, I’m in a pretty decent spot.
It comes down to personal choice in adults and older children. Depending on where I was in life, perhaps my theoretical answer would be different. If I had a different disability, maybe the choice would be different.
Parents are in a different spot. They have no more way of knowing what’s in store for their kids than anyone else does. If I had a child with a disability with mine, I’d do all in my power to make life just a bit easier for them, but I’d do my best to research the solution as thoroughly as possible.
To be honest, I think most parents are in the same camp as I am. If you love your children, of course you want the best for them. It’s just difficult knowing what’s best when the issue is so convoluted by so many factors.
It’s not a simple issue at all.
What would you do?
I really like these two bumper stickers. If I had a car, I’d probably spring for one or both of ’em.