This memoir depicts a hearing father's journey to raise his deaf daughter by embracing ASL and Deaf culture.
When Richard Medugno and his wife Brenda learned in 1993 that their 17-month-old daughter Miranda was deaf, they grieved, as many hearing parents do. Soon, however, Medugno seized hold of the need to take positive action for Miranda. Deaf Daughter, Hearing Father recounts the remarkable story of their journey during the past fourteen years.
Medugno first researched the best communication mode for Miranda. Quickly dismissing the speech pathology model, he and his wife chose ASL alone as the best, natural language for Miranda. He surrounded his daughter with opportunities to learn ASL, by arranging to meet deaf individuals and families, and also by hiring deaf babysitters. He also determined to learn ASL himself, to ensure communication with his daughter. As Miranda neared school age, Medugno spearheaded a transcontinental search for exactly the right school for her education. So that Miranda could attend the California School for the Deaf (CSD), the Medugno family moved from Toronto, Canada to Fremont, CA.
In Deaf Daughter, Hearing Father, Medugno shares practical information on many of the common challenges faced by hearing parents. He provides a list of games that hearing and deaf children can play together, an important consideration for many families. His enthusiasm for all possibilities, from exploring the potential of video phones to helping stage CSD musicals, reveals his abiding devotion to Miranda. Such a foundation has enabled her to feel proud, confident, and happy in her pursuits. At the same time, Medugno recognizes that the rewards of having a deaf daughter are far greater than he could have hoped for or imagined.
Richard Medugno is a freelance writer and playwright who lives with his family in Fremont, CA.