Between Two Worlds

My Life as a Child of Deaf Adults

By David Sorensen

Categories: Biography / Memoir, Deaf Communities and Cultures
Imprint: Gallaudet University Press
Paperback : 9781944838539, 176 pages, June 2019
Ebook : 9781944838546, 176 pages, June 2019
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David Sorensen's memoir reveals a person seeking acceptance and belonging while straddling the Deaf and hearing worlds. 


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In his memoir, David Sorensen explores his identity as a coda, or a child of Deaf adults. He describes his experiences with the roles often placed on codas at a young age, such as interpreter, confidant, and decision-maker. His story reveals a person seeking acceptance and belonging while straddling the Deaf and hearing worlds, and shows how he found reconciliation within himself and with both worlds.

       Sorensen relays the dynamics of his family life; he had a strained relationship with his father, who was an active leader and role model in the Deaf community and the Mormon Church, yet struggled to bond with his own son. Sorensen rebelled as a youth and left home as a teenager, completely detaching from the Deaf community. After struggling to establish himself as an independent adult, he discovered that he wanted to return to the Deaf world and use his ASL fluency and cultural understanding as a mental health therapist and community advocate. Now he considers himself an ambassador between the Deaf and hearing worlds, as well as between the older and younger generations of Deaf people. Between Two Worlds: My Life as a Child of Deaf Adults shares the unique experiences of a coda and passes on the rich cultural past shared by the American Deaf community.


David Sorensen is the community liaison for the Deaf Program at Desert Hills Residential Treatment Facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico.



"Some of the social issues demonstrated in this memoir can be a starting point for discussion in comparing the evolution of the Deaf community, culturally, and the composition of the nucleus family. In addition, this memoir could be an additional reading assignment for social work, counseling, or educational programs where families with Deaf parents are raising hearing children. Often times, this particular familial dynamic of CODA is oblivious to professionals who work with Deaf families. The personal experiences of David Sorensen provide a compelling reason for professionals to seek more insight into the homes where 'two' worlds exist."

— Mark M. Rust, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education