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Inner Lives of Deaf Children Interviews and Analysis

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I go on to tell her that I grew up in a hearing school and didn’t always understand what was happening, and that sometimes kids were nice and helped and sometimes they weren’t. Her mom tells her to tell me about her trophy. When her mother leaves the room to get the trophy and pictures, Lisa begins to use her signs with me, telling me about her soccer schedule.

When her mom returns, though, she stops signing.

I ask Lisa more questions about her friends, and if she has any brothers and sisters. She mentions a friend, a boy, but says she does did not know where they met. Her sisters are twelve and thirteen and are both at swimming practice.

Her father comes home from work and we say hello. Lisa and I resume our interview, and when I ask her how long she has been playing soccer, she responds that she does not know and asks her mom.

I return our discussion back to the subject of the video camera and ask if she has one at home. She says she does. I tell her why I need it, explaining how my voice and her voice might not be picked up well by the camera, and that the interpreter is there to voice for us so we will not have to worry about our voices. Then, after we are finished with the interview, the interpreter will take the tape home and type the interview for me, so I won’t forget anything that we say. Then I can use that information for the book I’m writing. I tell her that no one will see the tape except her, myself, and the interpreter, and that when I am finished with it, I can even give it to her if she wants so she can be sure no one else will see it.

I ask if it will be okay if we start over again when I come back on Thursday.< p> She says, “I guess,” but I am not convinced she is comfortable with that idea, so I ask if she’d like her mom and the interpreter and me to do a pretend interview so she can see how it is done. She agrees.

The three of us conduct a mini interview, and Lisa watches intermittently as she attempts to pull the box of markers off the table yet stay hidden from the camera. We proceed for a few minutes with our mock interview. Her mom is telling me about Lisa in response to my request for a story about a deaf child. Mom tells me how talented Lisa is. It is clear that her mother recognizes her daughter’s talents and strengths.

“A story about a little deaf girl. I know this wonderful little girl. Her name is Lisa . . . Lisa. And she is so talented and can do many things. She can play soccer and basketball and gymnastics and baseball, and she tries real hard at school. She is doing a real good job at getting along with people, and she is a wonderful person to be around and she’s so much fun.”

I ask if the little girl is deaf and Mom nods.

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