Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Community & the Deaf-Mute

My friends used to ridicule me when we were younger, because I would always share fairly useless information by which I was fascinated (for example, that dolphins can understand language demonstrated by their ability to comprehend symbols on a touch screen). I am going to continue in that time-honored tradition by sharing what I have learned today.
I read an article ( answering the question "In what language do deaf people think?" For those who were born unable to hear (sometimes called deaf-mutes), they never had the opportunity to hear human voices. This poses a problem, as we essentially think in the language with which we communicate. This makes it vital to identify deaf-mutes early on in their development, so that measures can be taken to teach them Sign, the independent, natural language of the deaf. If the deaf-mute do not learn a form of communication such as Sign, they can have major development issues. The article goes on to explain that the deaf-mute think in Sign.
It makes me wonder if a congenitally deaf child never learns how to communicate, and communication forms our very thought processes, then can he not communicate with himself? In essence, can he not think beyond urges and rudimentary innate communication? Is it written into our very nature that we need human interaction on an intimately-communicative level in order for our minds, our personalities, our identities to develop?

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