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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/379

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SPEECH FOR DEAF CHILDREN.

minded person who tries to show him that such injuries can not be repaired will be thought unkind and unwilling to join the parts.

In the opinion of many, deaf persons are high-tempered, unruly, obstinate, and vindictive. The untrained, uneducated deaf may become so, just as the untrained, uneducated child in full possession of hearing may grow into a dangerous brute. It is not the deafness that is responsible. Too much stress can not be laid upon the importance of inculcating prompt obedience. There is no reason why a deaf child should not respond quickly to another's wishes. It is impossible to explain matters to him; teach him to obey, and let him learn by observation why he is required to do so. Obedience implies self-control. All progress, mental and moral, must be regulated by the greater or less amount of self-control. A deaf child may give a telling blow; unable to hear it, he fails to realize the degree of force exerted. How shall he be taught he has done wrong? By a blow directed to him? That would teach him that what he gave another can hurt, but what does he think of the adult who strikes him? Would he not be likely to feel that the older person by giving a blow practically indorsed its use? The next step would be to reason that it is justifiable to give one, but well to avoid receiving another in return. The best way to punish and thus teach the child to drop lawless expressions of his displeasure must be to show one's power without a trace of anger. If he is held firmly in a chair despite struggles and cries he will realize he is being controlled. He is conscious of his act and knows he is deprived of his liberty in consequence. He sees determination but no anger in the face of his instructor, and learns that tears and screams are unavailing. There is no need to indulge in such useless efforts. He has tired himself, only to find his keeper fresh and undaunted. A slap would have suggested retaliation. Pinching could be easily returned. This superior, calm strength is something different and so far beyond his own abilities as to compel respect. In time the expression in the face is sufficient to enforce obedience, and the hands need rarely exert their firm, strong hold. The child's conscience is formed by the series of impressions he receives from the decided approval or disapproval in the faces about him. There may be times when more severe punishment is required, but rarely if proper training is received in early life. It should be remembered that the deaf child is not conscious of the effect of the unpleasant screams and resounding kicks he may give when he throws himself down some day in temper. All his dramatic exhibition may have less behind it than has the "No, I won't!" of the hearing child. We admit that the scene made by one and the attitude of the other are equally unpleasant, but the