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Jeremy stopped wearing one of his hearing aids because of this discomfort.
When strangers can't make themselves understood, they treat a deaf person as if they're stupid.
Many deaf people, like Jeremy, have speech impediments because they can't hear the sound of their own voice or pronounce certain sounds. It is for all these reasons that I find the idea of deliberately choosing to have a deaf child so abhorrent. If we were talking about parents who were born without limbs demanding the right to give birth to a child without arms and legs, we would all be repulsed. The limbless could argue that wheelchairs give them mobility, just as sign language offers a deaf person a means of communication, and they could say that they feel a sense of community with other people who use wheelchairs.
That doesn't make it right to impose limblessness - or deafness - on a child who has no say in the matter.
You can't hear the doorbell - we had one which made the lights flash on and off - or the fire alarm.
Being deaf often means enduring constant background tinnitus - ringing, buzzing, clicking or roaring in the ears - which is both distracting and painful.
My parents never once considered Jeremy's deafness to be a good thing, which would make him part of a culture, a distinct ethnic group, with an identity and language which should be celebrated.
If my parents could have prevented Jeremy's deafness, they would surely have done so.
Hearing tests have become extremely sophisticated in the past 30 years, but when my brother was born they were rather crude, so it was not until he was eight months old - and had missed out on a good deal of his early language development - that he was officially diagnosed.Some deaf people think this is unjust and discriminatory.The couple fighting for the right to have a child who could be deaf celebrated when their first child was born deaf and now want another deaf child to complete their family.Whatever its cause, my brother's deafness came as a huge shock to our parents, who already had one child - me - and weren't aware of any deafness in the family.