Deaf with a capital D | Exceptional Lives

My daughter can hear the doorbell ring — once in a while. She can hear dogs barking and she says something that sounds a lot like “bless you” when you sneeze. She sings “Wheels on the bus” without any recognizable English words, but with a close enough approximation of the tune that anyone would recognize it.

“Is she completely deaf?” people ask me all the time. But that’s the wrong question.

Medically speaking, she’s hard of hearing, but this child is capital-D Deaf from head to toe. Even at 3, she’s drawn like a magnet to the capital-D Deaf community: people who are proud of their culture and love the expressiveness of American Sign Language. The first time she spent the night at our house, when she was almost 2, she went home with a dozen new signs. She was a little sponge searching for a way to communicate and she has not stopped soaking it all up.

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