Leigh Taylor is a hearing mum of two children, one of whom is deaf and has a life-limiting condition. In between juggling the children, a full-time job and a never-ending stream of hospital appointments for her daughter, Leigh likes to make a nuisance of herself by arguing with the LEA about appropriate school placements, transport provision, speech therapy and so on.
1. What’s wrong with her?
Nothing. What’s wrong with you?
2. She’s doing so well… considering.
Stop patronising me! She’s either doing well, or she’s not. ‘Considering’ is such an insidious word.
3. But she looks normal!
She’s not normal – she’s superhuman.
4. Oh dear – special needs, is she? How do you cope?
Oh dear – your poor son. How do you cope?
5. I bet sometimes you wish that she’d never been born?
No, I’ve never experienced that particular emotion. I suggest you ask your mother how that might feel – no doubt she knows.
6. But she just heard me shouting – she can’t be deaf!
The whole room heard you – you sound like Brian Blessed with a megaphone.
7. Will she grow out of it?
Oh yes, When she reaches puberty her old,’broken’ ears will fall off and be replaced by shiny new ones which will work perfectly.
8. Ah – I’ve been watching her for 15 minutes and I knew there was something wrong with her, but I couldn’t work out what.
Really? I’ve been looking at you for 15 seconds and I can tell exactly what’s wrong with you.
9. Isn’t it great that they have Mr Tumble on TV for kiddies like her?
Oh yes. But she’s nearly 12 and she’s kind of grown out of Cbeebies…And no – just because your 5 year-old knows the makaton signs for ‘wee wee’ and ‘biscuit’, it doesn’t mean he’s going to grow up to be a teacher of the deaf.
10. Well,she’s lucky – at least she’ll be able to claim DLA when she’s older.
Yes, that’s fabulous for her. I don’t know why we’re even bothering to send her to school and beat an education into her, when she always has the benefits system to fall back on.
The Limping Chicken is the UK’s deaf blogs and news website, and is the world’s most popular deaf blog. It is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
Please note that the views of the writers are their own, and not necessarily the views of the Editor or site as a whole. Read our disclaimer here.
- Phonak: innovative technology and products in hearing acoustics
- Ai-Live: Find out 5 ways to fund live captions at your event!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- Clarion: BSL/English interpreting and employment services
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- Hearing Direct: Online hearing aids
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Signworld: online BSL learning and teaching materials
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- Sign Solutions:, language and learning
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- SDHH: Project Development and Consultancy
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people
- deafPLUS: Money advice line in BSL
- Happy: Microsoft Office courses taught in BSL and SSE by a Deaf trainer – all abilities catered for
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Ozen: Australian hearing aid specialists
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children
- DCAL: Find out how to study at the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre, London
- cSeeker: Deaf-led educational communication support service
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- Sarah Gatford: BSL interpreting, training and consultancy
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people