Every Opportunity: A Case Study of Hearing Parents and Their Deaf Child
Patricia Elizabeth Spencer Gallaudet University
Every birth is a miracle. Except for the excitement that typically accompanies such a miracle, Maggie's birth was uneventful. After several days, she and her mother left the hospital to join her father and sister Sam (Samantha) in their colorful Victorian home in the older part of a midsized midwestern town of about 200,000 people in the United States. Maggie's extended family of aunts, uncles, and grandparents visited and admired this new addition to the family. Her parents, failing in love with Maggie almost immediately, adjusted for a second time to the demanding schedule of caring for a newborn. Sam, now 2 years old, became at the same time Maggie's protector and her competitor for the family's attention.
Maggie's mother and father were sensitive and experienced parents. By the time she was 4 weeks old, they noticed a difference between her behaviors and those of her older sister at the same age. Maggie seemed to be nonresponsive to sounds around the house like the buzzer on the oven timer and the telephone -- and to their own calls to her when they were beyond her sight. They asked her pediatrician if perhaps Maggie's hearing