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Deaf Again by Mark Drolsbaugh

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Deaf Again by Mark Drolsbaugh

Born hearing to deaf, signing parents, Mark gradually lost his hearing. Despite the fact that his deaf parents preferred sign communication, Mark was raised and educated without the use of sign language. His parents and grandparents were concerned that sign might interfere with speech and restrict his educational achievement. Although Mark became increasingly hard-of-hearing, he worked hard to "pass" as a hearing person. This ambition, he later discovered, actually constricted his development and limited the depth of relationships with family and friends. During these long years, he just "didn?t know what (he) was missing." When he later learned ASL, chose to mix with deaf people, and learned to perceive deafness as something special, his horizons expanded. He came to value communication and relationships above the things that seemed so important to many people, such as image, income, status, skills, religious background, or race.

His persuasive book sounds a clear warning to all who would circumscribe their Although Mark?s early hearing acuity, stubborn determination, excellent educational opportunities and strong family support helped him to find a measure of success, he regrets the slow progress of his emotional and spiritual development. He says that at age 22, "the real me, the fully-actualized Mark Drolsbaugh, was only about one or two years old." Now he says, "I am proud of who I am, proud of what I?ve overcome, and proud of ...