Do You Think We’re All Deaf?

BLH post

I removed the photo of the vid because it shows a child’s face and uses his name. The link is there if you want to laboriously copy it, or conversely, you can visit the BLH Facebook page and link from there.

It’s all cute and sweet (I suppose—I actually didn’t watch it), but what struck me was this sentence:

I think I will add it back to our routine.


What about this?


Notice the whole emphasis on choice?  Notice that the 11-year-old “creates his own structure”?

. . . they all have the freedom to choose their own goals and guidelines.

What if the children do not want to learn ASL anymore?  What if they think it’s a completely useless skill considering that no one in their family is deaf and they aren’t really given any opportunity to interact with many other people?

Why is it cute and good and “I think I will add it back to our routine” when it comes to something like ASL, but hey, algebra is just useless because who uses that in real life?

How many times have you needed to know ASL?  I worked for years in hospital settings, and I had a far greater need to speak Spanish than to be able to communicate via ASL. Obviously, if one of the kids thought that he might want to work with deaf people as a career, then it might make sense to learn that particular skill, but she’s going to “add it back to our routine.”

Unschooling.  Ain’t it great?




21 thoughts on “Do You Think We’re All Deaf?”

  1. Talking in circles. Add back to our “routine”. “Each child has their own freedom to choose their goals and guidelines..”

    It’s rather incredulous to insinuate a skilled job can be self learned within a few weeks. Well yeah, maybe if it’s a rather unskilled fundamental job, that doesn’t require much foundation to build upon. It’s rather condescending, too. It’s also setting for a rude disappointment, telling a young adult they have all the mojo they need to get the job they want, with just a few weeks of self learning the required skill sets. Also, there are thousands of unskilled labor jobs leaving the country, going to where they can get the same labor force at much cheaper costs.

    Education is the greatest equalizer, in moving up out of poverty. Education is never a waste. Never.

    Adding ASL back to the unschooling routine? But, but…..where’s the freedom to choose to their interests, goals and guidelines??

    I agree, BLB, learning Spanish is a much more productive and self serving in this today.

    So one of the kids is deaf?


  2. What routine? I thought the kids got to pick what they learned..the purpose of unschool…remember?


  3. I learned to read adult books in 3rd grade. Real honest to God literature. I also devoured the weekly magazines that we subscribed to, Time, Look, Saturday Evening Post, the daily newspaper.
    In high school I learned communication skills and newspaper writing to effectively communicate and deal with other people. I learned math though I was abysmal at it, yet in my adult life I worked in firms that needed my math skills.

    ASL is a whole lifestyle. My husbands youngest brother (46) not only is profoundly deaf but he is now classified legally blind because of his retinitis pigmentosa. I can express a few things but I am not proficient. I wish I was. He’s a fundamentalist and is fixated on Revelations.

    I would like to see their daily routine, roll joints for Joe, clean the shitter, Search for eggs, and the like. Not much use for book learning when you’ve got all the chores to do.


  4. ASL is interesting and certainly useful if someone wishes to go into the field. Cued speech is also interesting and it’s easier to learn and use, generally speaking. I wish it had a wider audience and users.

    Braille is also interesting and useful. I remember learning to read Braille (in public school, thank you) because we were assigned to read a book about a blind child, I WANTED to learn more, the teacher was very supportive and at one time I was reasonably good at reading it too. Not anymore but I do feel it was time well-spent.

    Perhaps I would have gone into the field but the point is that it was introduced, I seized the opportunity, the teacher (and my parents) were pleased to support me and I pursued it for a time. For a 4th grader, quite a long time. To the point of proficiency.

    I don’t see the Naugler parents putting forth that time and effort in their children. Oh, they like to drop hints to others to provide for their children and their interests, but reach into their own pockets – first? Not going to happen.

    How sad.


  5. Of course learning ASL is interesting and can be a great thing to do.

    But learning algebra is much more fundamental. So is reading literature. Real literature. And learning real history. Not Ron Paul’s screeds written for his various presidential runs, but real history.

    The larger point here is that supposedly “unschooling” means that the child directs his own learning. We see from this post that Nicole is actually driving the “school bus,” and it has been parked for years.


  6. We see from this post that Nicole is actually “driving the school bus,” and it has been parked for years.

    The way they have deliberately cut off every chance these children have to participate in life away from a tight orbit around them (except for a brief period extracting attention and money from the Battle with the Evil CPS) strengthens my belief in their narcissism. Narcissists tend not to want to let their children go–ever. If that means breaking up their relationships, getting them fire, denying them transportation to their jobs, getting them evicted, or, yes, sabotaging their education, then that’s what they’ll do.

    At some point they then turn around and shame and blame those same children for not being popular and rich, of course, because that’s how they roll.


  7. nicole should teach joe asl. Anyone who communicates as ineffectively as he does might benefit from a second language. His hands might go into shock from using them for something other than his smart phone, stuffing his mouth or rolling a joint though. Worth a try though.


  8. Of course learning ASL is interesting and can be a great thing to do.

    But learning algebra is much more fundamental. So is reading literature. Real literature. And learning real history. Not Ron Paul’s screeds written for his various presidential runs, but real history.

    The larger point here is that supposedly “unschooling” means that the child directs his own learning. We see from this post that Nicole is actually driving the “school bus,” and it has been parked for years.”

    I agree. I learned algebra, geometry and pre-calculus before I went to college. Literature, history and chemistry too. Plus I developed an interest in Braille thanks to a book our teacher had us read. I didn’t stop learning other subjects, nor did the curriculum revolve around my interests. That would have left some things out of my K-12 education.

    My point is that Nicole believes that no child in a public school has any say in what they learn or the opportunity to pursue things that interest them in particular. Which is utter nonsense. It was nonsense when I was coming through public school and it is today too. Now, there are poor-performing schools and there are lot of reasons for their not doing so well, but it isn’t because every single teacher within them has given up trying to teach their pupils.

    Nicole certainly has a lot to answer for since the day she and Joe parked that “school bus” and walked away from it. That happened years ago and that poor bus is stuck in the mud up to its axles, rusted and with the insulation around the wires chewed by mice.


  9. While it’s probably not a huge job skill, unless you specifically want to work with the community, I don’t think learning ASL is any less useful than any learning any other language. Otherwise, we wouldn’t offer German in high schools. That said, using a few signs with your baby is NOT ASL any more than picking up a few words from Sesame Street is learning Spanish. Nicole’s insinuation that it is demeaning to the Deaf community and their culture. Which is hardly surprising with Nicole.


  10. Anyone who reads her posts and believes that she allows her children self direction is willfully blind. Mrs Naugler often contradicts herself in the very same post. You don’t need to be able to read between the lines, it’s right there in black and white. She is such a control freak she doesn’t even see it.

    Eventually hormones and Mother Nature will arrive at the homestead in the guise of a daughter in law. Boys will be boys, and where else can they go?

    You’ll be able to see the storm from that encounter all the way in Nebraska.

    Hint to Mrs Naugler, you’re going to lose that battle. The girl putting out will have all the control then, and I bet she will thank you for pussy whipping your boy into her future hen pecked husband.

    Then he too can be just like Joe.


  11. In another post here, I talked about my infant son contracting the measles from an unvaccinated neighbor’s child.
    The measles resulted in his being severely deaf.
    He learned Cued Speech from a Gallaudet instructor, he learned ASL from numerous highly trained instructors.
    He also speaks English with a slight distortion, but he is clearly understood.

    As an elementary student he always made 100 on spelling test.
    He would bring home his list of words and we would drill using spoken English and finger spelling.

    One year after he was mainstreamed, I got a funny note from his teacher that she noticed that all the hearing children around him started making 100 on their test too…
    My son would quietly finger spell his words to himself when he took his test, and it didn’t take long for the children around him to catch on to finger spelling.

    I would recommend to Nicole that she teach, or have one of her children learn and then teach the rest of the children, finger spelling.
    If any one of them wants to pursue ASL any further they will have the basis( finger spelling) of ASL to grow from.
    Finger spelling would be far more useful to communicate with a deaf person than a few bits and pieces of sign language.


  12. @MIM – I have actually used finger spelling in 2 of my jobs. I can only do a few actual words but I still know the alphabet. In college I was a server and a deaf table came in, I took it from another server because I could at least sort of communicate with them. The order took along time to take but that was fine. I was glad they were patient with me trying to spell everything. And once at the front counter at my current job. Again, took awhile to communicate but it worked.
    Like your son, I catch myself spelling with my fingers if I am nervous or bored. It keeps my hands moving. My brother (also knows to finger spell) will catch me the most because he can read what I am doing. Now my daughters have picked some of it up because apparently I do it more than I am aware! 🙂
    As for Nicole- does she realize that sending her kids to public school would be less work? She would have the majority of kids out of her hair for a long stretch of time. And they school would feed them! A good parent would go to events and help with homework but if Nicole only did the bare minimum- send them to school- I think the kids would be better off academically. Unfortunately, socially there would still be issues if there are hygiene issues.


  13. The Naugler kids don’t need American Sign Language. It may be fun to learn, but has extremely limited utility. Spanish or Chinese are the hot languages for general communication in America, and business applications both domestically and in international business.

    But, she is right that about a routine. The children need a REAL routine.
    As in—- going to a REAL school each day. Learning English, Math, history/social studies, languages such as Spanish (or Chinese), art, music, sports, from certified teachers. As well as learning to socialize and form friendship with other children who aren’t related to them.


  14. Nicole seems to have a distorted view about what it means to give a child ownership of his/her own body. I feel sorry for her that she doesn’t see the truth and is destroying her future relationships with her children.

    Your child is allowed to dye her hair, but can’t choose to go to public school? If you haven’t instilled your values by now, if she can’t resist the evils of public indoctrination at her age, you are really out of luck. Owning your own body should include owning your form of education.

    You say you don’t hit your child, but you emotionally intimidate them and wield absolute control over every moment of their lives. That was obvious in the recordings where Nicole told the boys not to say anything. And when Joe told the kids to say nothing when the state kidnapped them.

    Ownership of their bodies would mean they could choose to be in Scouts again.

    Ownership of their bodies means they could choose to go to the doctor.

    But you, Nicole/Joe, have created an environment where you have vilified so many aspects of society, that your children can’t choose to be a part of those things without fear of losing your respect. If they chose to go to public school, or vote, how do they reconcile your hatred and become someone you ridicule and find stupid?

    Sadly, I have a friend who believes that gay people go to hell. She raised her large family with that belief. When her son turned 18 and told her he was gay, she tried to get him to repent. He has moved away with his boyfriend and has little contact with his family now. Nicole and Joe are doing the same thing. The only difference is you can substitute the word “gay” with : public school student, tax payer, voter, military service member…

    Nicole/Joe give their children token freedoms like choosing what books to read or clothes to wear…while taking any true freedom and respect from them.


  15. @MP: If keeping their children piled up at the homestead strokes one of her mental twitches, or satisfies his need to keep them from talking to outsiders about stuff they may not want mentioned, then they’re going to stay out there miserably falling behind.

    But yes, the school-aged kids would get at least one meal per day nearly every day of the year, what with school breakfasts and lunches, weekend food backpacks, and the USDA summer meals program. They would be using flush toilets and soap and hot water provided by the district. And for 6-plus hours per day, they wouldn’t be in the mud.


  16. I would like to say to Bea, your comments are thought provoking. I’ve read it three times, and each time another thought light-bulb is lit. One of the things I enjoy about this blog. I might have a predefined opinion, and then the commentary opens up different ideals that I hadn’t thought about.

    Bea said, “But you, Nicole/Joe, have created an environment where you have vilified so many aspects of society, that your children can’t choose to be a part of those things without fear of losing your respect. If they chose to go to public school, or vote, how do they reconcile your hatred and become someone you ridicule and find stupid?”

    And, “Nicole and Joe are doing the same thing. The only difference is you can substitute the word “gay” with : public school student, tax payer, voter, military service member…”

    These children really don’t have much freedom of choice. They are confined by their parents’ oppression and control. And their hatred.

    I am reminded of my first college roommate. She was a preacher’s daughter. Going away to college was her first freedom from what she felt was her parents’ oppressive control. It was like somebody left the gate open, and the dog was running free. She really went a little overboard, in a rebellious way. Overindulged. But eventually, it was very freeing. She had the freedom of choice, captain of her ship.

    It would not be a surprise, that some of those children will fight the oppressive control when they become young adults. It’s human nature, to want to feel free to make your own choices. And no surprise that some may go on to public higher education, vote, be a taxpayer, and maybe be involved with the military. Some may want to vaccinate, circumcise, and not breastfeed.


  17. I totally agree with Dawn that Spanish or Chinese would be more useful in this shrinking world of ours.
    (Although finger spelling does have its uses and is easier to learn.)
    I took three years of Spanish in high school and then another four+ years to become an RN. One of my first jobs was in Maryland.
    One night we had a Spanish merchant sailor brought in from his ship who was very ill and terrified. He spoke no English.

    I was called to take care of him. Even though my Spanish was far from perfect, and I had six or seven years to forget what I learned, I was able to help him and lessen his fear. My being there helped the rest of the staff understand his needs so that he could return home.


  18. Actually, American Sign Language would be a great course for study seeing as the unfortunate progeny have so few choices.

    After all…

    ASL students often go on to work for the state government, either in social services, counseling, or teaching special-ed.

    What proud mother would turn-up her nose at such a bright future? Oh, right. Mrs. Naugler would…
    “Thats not what ____ wants to do. _____ is more interested in a holistic approach to ______.”
    Marvel at how quickly she fills in the blanks at every kind suggestion that her child will grow to have a career requiring a higher education. How convenient it must be, that her children hold exactly the same interests and have the same modest career-prospects as their mother, you know, the one speaking for them.
    Because god-forbid they go farther than her in life! What would she do?


  19. Because god-forbid they go farther than her in life!

    One could do nothing at all and go farther than the Naugler parents.


  20. Tekla, I hope that Cued Speech never gets more popular than ASL. That’s because CS is a tool while ASL is a language. As a Deaf person you can’t get out of CS what you do from ASL.

    That said, I think the Nicole has no freaking clue that ASL can be difficult to learn. You have grammar just like any other language, and the signs are not substitutes for words. You don’t just learn signs and use them in place of English. That’s actually something called Pidgin Signed English and may or may not be used along with Signed Exact English. I doubt she has a clue as to any of this, and I don’t think you can learn ASL without knowing this. I don’t even want to list good resources for learning ASL because I think she’s bullshitting about this and isn’t being respectful of the language or her own kids and I selfishly feel she doesn’t deserve the information until she changes her attitude. Maybe actually having proper learning tools for ASL will change her attitude but I doubt it.

    Learning ASL has all the benefits of learning another foreign language. You’d be surprised at how many random people you meet who benefit from someone signing to them. It’s just that because no one hearing really uses it, you don’t see a single Deaf person in a group of hearing people using sign. Not enough people know it. I live in a high Deaf area and few people who deal with the public know it, despite the huge amount of d/deaf here. They just say “Oh, I wish I knew it, I know so many people who use it that I should learn it! There are so many d/Deaf people here I feel embarrassed not knowing it.”


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