Linda G. Hill

Life in progress

X-Exclusion – #AtoZ Challenge

27 Comments

One of the hardest things for me to endure, as the mother of a Deaf child, is the exclusion of Alex by the hearing neighbourhood kids. Admittedly, part of it is my fault. Explaining why would be going off on a tangent, however, so I’ll leave that for tomorrow’s post.

Alex does have friends at school, but they live all over the province. Some are in residence on campus, many live miles away. So it’s difficult for him to get together with them outside of school. But like any kid, he sees children his own age outside his own house playing and he wants to join in. There are a couple who will play with him as long as their friends aren’t around – understandable in a way, since once they start discussing what they’re going to do, it’s hard to include Alex in the conversation. But even when they’re alone with Alex, they eventually get frustrated with trying to communicate with him. So they stop playing.

Then there are the kids across the street. He went over to play with them once, but they had no tolerance for him. They complained to one of Alex’s friends that does play with him that he “gives them a headache.” I wonder where they got that phrase from. It’s not often you see a perfectly healthy 7 or 10 year old child with an actual headache. Since that one time, they’ve sent him away and left me to explain to him that they don’t want to play with him. Or worse, they’ve let him stay and made fun of him, thinking he can’t understand. As I’ve mentioned before, most of sign language is body language and facial expression. He understands just fine. Incredibly, I’ve even had one of them accuse him of hitting her so she could use the excuse that he was mean to her. She figured, I suppose, that he would be unable to explain to me what really happened.

It doesn’t seem to matter how much we teach our children tolerance (though the kids and their parents across the street could use a lot more), they will be kids. They have their own interests, which don’t always include being able to play with only minimal communication. It’s a tough issue. One I can’t see a solution for.

Author: LindaGHill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

27 thoughts on “X-Exclusion – #AtoZ Challenge

  1. Having been step father to a special needs child for many years in the past, I know how that goes, I feel for Alex; kids can be little bastards.

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  2. I feel sad but I also realize that people who are reading this will take some empathy back home. Even a little would go a long way..

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  3. It’s lovely that you don’t just assume (like the kids) that your child doesn’t understand or won’t be able to accomplish the same things his peers can. It’s great that you stand up for him and don’t necessarily take the other children’s sides. And just want to say – love Marlee Matlin. She is such an inspiration. I hope your son realizes (and I’m sure he does) that he can accomplishes anything in this world that he wants to. Without experience, I would imagine that that must be the hardest thing to teach your child.

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    • It would be difficult to teach without a positive attitude as well. As long as I have that, I think we’ll make it. Thanks for your comment and your kind words, Amanda. 🙂

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  4. Childhood can be tough enough, and Alex has more to battle with.
    Children are tolerant up to a certain age then they too build prejudice too unfortunately.
    I see it at school all the time… acceptance at a young age of differences… then the questions and change in their behaviours as the get older, towards our special needs kids. ..

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    • You make a good point – the younger kids in the neighbourhood, for the most part, have always been more accepting of Alex. When they get older and more fixed in what they like to do, they don’t want any disturbances.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Good way to use an X to go with your theme!
    I’ve enjoyed your posts through A to Z.

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  6. Hi Linda, its hard no matter what the reason to see your child excluded or set upon because they are different. My youngest son, with disability, lives 90% of the time in his room. He is comfortable there with all the things he needs, his TV and his play station or whatever one he is up to at present…..either way he doesn’t go out very often so he has a limited social life…..on Saturday morning I take him shopping he buys what he wants and its nearly always a large amount of salt and sugar.
    People don’t realise or understand that for a child like your Alex he is just a normal sort of kid with a hearing issue but he is a whole lot smarter than they realise I bet. Does he have any inclination to play sport, like in a team? I’m sorry I don’t know enough about him so I could be way out of line suggesting that.
    But I get your heart break as a parent.

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    • His heart issues don’t allow him much physical play, which is another of his problems with keeping up with the other kids. But he tries his best. It’s hard to watch, isn’t it?

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      • It’s heartbreaking Linda.
        My son once decided he would like to try and play cricket. So we got him into a team and every Saturday I would take him. As he has such poor coordination it was excruciating watching him play. It wasn’t long and I knew he hated it, I hated watching him hate it but we decided that as it was a team sport he would have to play out the season which he did to his credit.

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  7. That is sad for your son and you. Perhaps it will change over time.

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  8. Yeah, that must be extra-hard for Alex . Kids at that age are all about relationships – the making and breaking of. They form cliques and break them up and reform,etc. It would be very difficult for Alex to separate the normal activities from reaction to him.

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    • It is tough. I see the friendships he has at school and I feel awful that they can only exist at school. There’s not much denseness in the Deaf community in a smaller town.

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  9. I absolutely adore Marlee Matlin!! Have you seen Nyle on DWTS this season? He won America’s Next Top Model and he has complete hearing loss. He’s AMAZING!! He never loses time, his musicality is amazing, considering he can’t hear a single note! Your son might find it rather encouraging! For that matter, so might you! 🙂 https://youtu.be/3a5feK1w2ng this one was particularly beautiful.

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  10. Even as adults – we are becoming less and less able to empathize with others in anything beyond the superficial stuff. It must be so painful for him to have to deal with those very adult issues at such a young age. Hugs!

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    • Thank you. 🙂 It’s hard for us though, having so many causes and concerns thrown at us on a daily basis, to know what to care about. But when it comes to empathy, I believe we can all do with a little more consciousness.

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  11. As a mom, I feel for you. I love that you are sharing this. Educating others helps. I wish I could say something that would help you because you are helping many.

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