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Dealing With Deafness

March is Deaf History Month, but it actually covers the period of March 13th to April 15th. It's a time to recognize three events - the creation of the first public school for the deaf on April 15, 1817, the founding of Gallaudet University (a college for the deaf) on April 8, 1864, and the Deaf President Now movement (when a deaf man became president of Gallaudet) on March 13, 1988. Now that you're caught up with the history, take a look at what it means to be deaf.

What Is It?

Your ear is made up of three parts - the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. They have to work together in order for you to hear properly, but if there's a problem with one or more parts of your ear, you may not be able to hear. That's what deafness is - partial or complete hearing loss.

What Causes It?

Deafness can be passed down in families or caused by long-term exposure to noise from living near airports and freeways or listening to really loud music through your headphones. You can also become deaf from ear infections or diseases like the measles, mumps or meningitis, that damage the ear.

Different Types

There are two main types of deafness. The most common type is conductive deafness, which is a form of partial hearing loss. It affects the outer and middle ears and is usually temporary. The other type is sensori-neural deafness, which is permanent. It's caused by a problem in the inner ear, usually in the cochlea (the part of your ear that's filled with liquid and lined with tiny hairs).

Ways of Communicating

Hearing-impaired people communicate by speechreading (reading a person's lips) and using Sign Language, which is a language of hand movements. Hearing aids, which are tiny electronic devices that fit in the ear, can be worn to help you hear better, but if those don't work, a cochlear implant can be surgically implanted. It works by turning sounds into electrical signals that directly stimulate the auditory nerves.

Did U Know?

  • About three in 1,000 babies are born with hearing impairment, making it one of the most common birth defects.
  • Like spoken language, different regions of the world use different forms of sign language.
  • The huddle formation used by football teams originated at Gallaudet University to prevent other schools from reading their sign language.
  • William Hoy, a deaf center-fielder for the Cincinnati Reds, invented the hand signals for balls and strikes in baseball.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven lost his hearing in his twenties, but continued to compose what many believe is some of the greatest music ever written!
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Dear Dish-It In The Forums

SmartSunnyShadow
I have one so annoying sister, that it feels like I have 200 of them, oh my god. She's pounding on the door right now, HELP! 
reply about 3 hours
SmartSunnyShadow
Dad, obviously. I can't even explain what he does to me!
reply about 3 hours
SmartSunnyShadow
Well, if they are your BFFs, they shouldn't be teasing you to make you feel bad. Me, and my BFFs tease each other all the time playfully, but I understand that this is different, and if it's making you feel bad it isn't playful at all.   Maybe your eldest friend is having some trouble with family issues, bad grades, body changes, etc. It's okay to be angry, so maybe you should leave her space for a few days, and see if it turns better. If it isn't, then try to first make her calm down. Then, make her talk to you about why she is so angry and ask if you can try to help. If nothing turns out better, tell her that you feel uncomfortable, and you want her to talk to you.  For your 3rd eldest friend, support her as much as possible, and stand up for her in this terrible situation. If you are all BFFs, then you should all be very close and comfortable around each other, and the fight shouldn't last long. If not, they are not your real friends, and you have to go on without them. I have tons of advice on how to make new friends, so just ask me if you want to know. Your 2nd eldest friend seems to be the main problem.  First of all, tell her to stop, and say how you don't like her bullying you. You must say what she is doing wrong, and how it makes you feel. If she doesn't care, tell her you're serious, and you hate what she is doing to you. If it continues, ignore what trash she is saying, and just simply walk away. Focus on other things that will help make you feel better. Remember, all she is is a person, and it's up to you to act appropriately.  Stay positive, and calm. Focus on other things, and if she continues, tell her that you can all be friends and you miss her. Go get another friend to stand up with you, and tell her that you will report to an adult if she won't stop. She may be your friend, but she deserves it. I told on my BFF when she was mean, so it's all okay now.  If all else fails, get a trusted adult, and hang out with nicer friends. Your other friends will learn from their mistakes. If not, warn them, and give them a sincere kindness note of how you miss being friends. Then, also give one to the bully.
reply about 3 hours
AnnaOfExquizurd
Yeah, @CyclonicBass the best option really is to find a girl with a quirky personality. Become friends with her. Possibly, over time, she'll grow close to you and accept a request to be with you. Hope it goes well!
reply 1 day
drowning
You go out and you find someone who you can be you with. It's not a hard question to find the answer too.
reply 1 day