A Man Without Words 1st California Paperback Printing Edition
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From the Inside Flap
- Publisher : University of California Press; 1st California Paperback Printing edition (August 29, 1995)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 210 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0520202651
- ISBN-13 : 978-0520202658
- Item Weight : 1.45 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #973,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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I wasn't expecting to feel so extremely upset at the world for treating deaf people the way we do, apparently. This was of course a while ago, so I don't know how things have changed, but I can hardly believe experts imagined at any point it would be better for a deaf child to develop without sign language. Intuitively I know that written language is extremely effective and us humans weren't exactly designed for it, so how could signed language not be effective? Our brains are very flexible, and learning written language doesn't remove our ability to interpret spoken language, that's completely ridiculous. It's just, something that doesn't even bother thinking about its so obvious.
My immediate reaction to deaf people being against cochlear implants was to think, "ah, just more people not liking change, same as always." The same reaction as when an average person would hear that you're getting ultra-violet sensing technology implanted into your brain. They wouldn't get it. I think it's dumb to limit yourself to what you already have. Why not strive for more? I still think it's dumb, but I entirely understand where they're coming from now, given how many lives were ruined by attempts to fit a deaf person into a speaking role, and I don't blame them.
I don't understand how so many "experts" could be so wrong, and that's a theme throughout this book.
I really hope things have improved for deaf people since this book was published.
Good on the author for being an independent thinker, this is a really important book, and I'm glad she told this story.
Going to look more into the deaf community now:)
This book got put aside as I had to read other books for school and work, but I picked it up again and finished it. Schaller basically is providing a qualitative study, a case study, to draw attention to this apparent problem. This method of educational research is used more and more in writing dissertations, and I actually didn't recognize what it was until I took a qualitative research class myself. The writing and book tend at first to repeat itself. I am not sure what Schaller was doing in writing this way. Perhaps the book had to be a certain length or she felt readers might not pay attention to the seriousness of this problem for Ildefonso and other adults without language. This repetition caused the first half of the book to drag a bit.
After I picked the book up again, I finished it in two days. The addition of the search for other adults with no primary language, Schaller's introduction to other adults like Ildefonso, and then her search for Ildefonso really added to the pace of the case study.
This book throws a bit of a wrench in much of the things I have been taught in both neuroscience and education. There are a few things the book illustrates better than any other book I've read on this topic. First, given the amount of adults who were deaf and had no language that Schaller found in Southern California really illustrates this has to be a major problem internationally. If we are finding such a large group in our nation which pushes education and literacy, what about in countries such as China where there are many deaf (due to overuse of gentamycin) and there are many people with no access to education. Second, again, we obviously don't know everything there is to know about the pliability of the brain. Third, I am very concerned about discrimination against this group, and the possibilities that there are many of these people in psychiatric wards or prisons or other institutions, merely because they have no way to assert their rights. This possibility would be criminal.
I'd like to see more books by Schaller on this topic, and hope to learn more about this in the future. For the most part, this is a great book, and it definitely is a great story which needed to be told.
University of Pittsburgh