Rear view Mirror Conversations: The 4 Year Old Deaf Experience

One of the things I always looked forward to with my second child was the conversations you have in a car.  Living in the Bay Area, California traffic is no stranger to us.  When we are in the car with our kids we do many things to entertain ourselves.  But when Heath was born, my husband and I were always sad about not having the same experience in the car with him as we did with Presley.

But was I wrong!  While in the beginning, it was challenging, now that our ASL has progressed and so has his, we are having many conversations in the car as if we would with our hearing child.  It brings joy to our hearts that we can have these same conversations with our Deaf child as we could with our hearing child.  We both are having the same experience that we thought we were going to be missing.

With rearview mirror in tow and not violating any legal laws, we have had many conversations.  Some are a follows.

Example 1 – CONVO all in ASL:

Heath:  Hey, we are going the wrong way to school!

Me: Nope, we are going a different way because the GPS is saying we will get to school faster.

Heath: What is a GPS?

Me: Well, it is a device helps me understand the fastest way to get you to school.

Heath:  I think you should go the way Daddy goes.

Me: Nope, I am going to follow the GPS.  trust me

Such a thinker! Here’s another example. 

CONVO all in ASL:

Heath: Why am I rushing to get in the car?

Me: Just get in…

As we pull out of the garage…

Heath:  I do not understand why we are rushing.

Me: Well, we are late.

Heath:  Why are we late?

Me: Because sometimes we just cannot get it together at home.

20 minutes goes by… closer to school.

Me:  Sorry, but there is no time play at school before it starts.

Heath: (With much distain). Mom, I saw you…

Me: You saw me doing what?

Heath: I saw you putting on your make up and all making your face pretty and now I am late for school, I do not get to play, and now I have to go just in the classroom without free time in the playground.

Me:( laughing ) I’m so sorry. I’ll be more considerate next time. 

These are amazing conversations that he and I have together without me worrying about if he can say any words or whether or not his speech is correct.  We have these conversations together in the car that I would normally have with my hearing child.

What is the takeaway?

You can do the same things with your Deaf child in ASL as with your hearing child…. Open your mind to the possibilities and make their world as big as yours!  You’d surprise yourself on how much fun you will have!

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