Ruth A. Reppert: A Child Of Deaf Adults
Hello! That's my photo on the cover of my memoir titled, "Adventures of a CODA, Child of Deaf Adults." I am Just two years old and totally unaware of the exciting life I am destined to live as a Hearing Child of Deaf Adults.
From the moment I was born, I faced a challenging communication barrier. While I could hear and speak, my parents were Deaf and communicated silently using a signed language. All CODAS face that same predicament, but not all of us react in the same way. Over the years, a number of CODA memoirs have been published. Each is unique and is one-of-a-kind.
My recorded adventures begin at my birth in 1933 and span eighty-three years to 2016. I take you way back in time to identify with me and to relive my moments with me.
It was a time when there were no trained sign language interpreters, so family members used mouth movements and gestures to help doctors, business owners, and others to communicate with their Deaf relatives. If there happened to be a Hearing child in an all-Deaf family, that child often automatically assumed the role of "interpreter."
The 2021 Academy Award-winning CODA movie starring Emelia Jones and Marlee Matlin doesn't describe my life and my experiences at all. For one, that is a fictitious tale, while mine is a true story. And Ruby, the character that Emelia Jones plays, is obviously unhappy with her interpreting tasks and longs to escape to the world of music. But I didn't feel that way at all! My Deaf parents taught me to communicate in their language, created an inclusive and happy family, and involved me in the Deaf Culture.
When I turned four, they began taking me to the weekly meetings of the local club of the Deaf where I was quickly adopted by the members. They seemed just as fascinated with me as I was with them, and their favorite activity was teaching me new ways to sign. So, by the time I was six or seven, the members and I understood each other so well that they persuaded me to interpret whenever a member had an appointment with a doctor, a lawyer, or other service provider. Those were exciting times for me. As I observed my parents and their Deaf friends, their positive ways of adjusting to their disability impressed me deeply, my love and admiration for them grew by leaps and bounds, and my sign vocabulary grew. Ultimately, my experiences set the direction of my life.
I wrote my account in a way that would enable readers to experience almost firsthand the unusual, and sometimes traumatic, events that taught me what deafness is and what it entails. As you read my descriptions, you sit with me in my dilemma as my mother teaches me to sign in English sentences while my father uses what is now called American Sign Language (ASL) which has no trace of English in it. You accompany me when, at age eleven, I am given interpreting tasks that are mind-blowing! Fast-forward to the times when, as an adult, I take you with me on several interpreting assignments, each one an exciting and unique adventure. You are with me all the way!
To explore readers' ratings and comments about my memoir, you can visit Amazon to read its reviews. Adventures of a CODA” Just click here. While you are there, you can read the first thirty pages of the book and grow up with me as I learn to live in two worlds, the Hearing and the Deaf.
You will also see the cover of my eBook for today's parents of young schoolchildren. It was published on January 1, 2023. I'm hoping you will want to read both of my writings because each one will undoubtedly enhance your worldview. My memoir will enable you to better understand such terms as deafness, Deaf people, CODAs, sign language, ASL, Deaf Culture, and sign language interpreting, and my eBook for parents will emphasize the difference between God's unchanging Truth and the fictional and ever-changing nonsense called "truth" in today's secular world.
For a closer look inside my books right now, click here “MY MEMOIR.” Don't miss the information on the other tabs, as well.
Ruth A. Reppert