Friday, February 6, 2009

interesting...

According to some of the hearing loss professionals that we work with, Lucas is considered "vanilla deaf" - meaning he has no other developmental issues that would preclude his language acquisition. It's apparently not a widely used term, just used among teachers of the deaf, maybe even just in our area. I was pretty amused by this... I asked once whether the opposite is "chocolate deaf." Nope, just vanilla deaf. Interesting, huh? Has anyone else ever come across this terminology?

13 comments:

Sandra said...

I've never heard of it! Interesting term...

AJ's Mom said...

Jennifer,
I have never heard of that term...but it sure is interesting. :) Jer and I decided that our AJ is definitely neopolitan :) Did Lucas' team explain where the term comes from?

Landry said...

hahaha! :) I've never heard that before, but I guess that would make Landry "Vanilla Deaf," too!

Kel said...

I've heard it before in a couple spots. There doesn't seem to be a universally accepted opposite - I've heard neapolitan, I've heard chocolate with hot fudge and rainbow sprinkles (lol), you name it. Danny being most certainly not vanilla, I've always kind of wondered at what "flavor" he would be!

Hetha said...

LOL! Oh yes. I've even been known to use it, as in "Ethan is not vanilla deaf, he's chocolate deaf with sprinkles!" I learned the term from our audiologist, and like you said, most people outside of that community have no idea what you're talking about.

Kel said...

THAT'S who I heard the sprinkles from! LOL!

Anonymous said...

I have never heard that term. Beings Morgan is only 2 I guess we are all still learnng these new terms! I love vanilla ice cream though. I would guess Morgan is "vanilla" but she loves chocolate.

tammy said...

I have never heard that term either ... I guess that means Aiden is vanilla deaf too, interesting.

LOVE the video! He is definitely imitating you! That is so awesome Jennifer! I can't wait for these days!

Connor's Mom said...

I got my BA in English and I did several papers on slang, so here's my technical take on this. :)

I've heard the term "vanilla" in reference to other things, but never in describing Deafness. I believe in general it's slang for "boring or plain"- kind of an interesting take on being "just" Deaf, I guess.

While the word has come to be more generally used, I do know the context of the original term and like a lot of the terms we use today ("this sucks" is a good example) it originally had sexual connotation and thus the origin is probably inappropriate to mention on somebody else's blog involving children, so you can google it if you want.

The reason why "Chocolate" is probably not used is that it is part of another slang term (the term involves both chocolate and a popular cuban dance, and I'm not going to get more specific here) which has not been mainstreamed. This particular term does not mean "the opposite of boring" but something even more wildly inappropriate for mentioning on somebody else's comments.

Um, yeah. That was probably way more than you wanted to know. Sorry.

~Jess

Anonymous said...

yes, as a teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing i've heard of the term "vanilla deaf". i believe i first heard it from a deaf ed. professor in college.

presidentsdaddy said...

I have a vanilla deaf son too and I love calling him that. My friend's child is definitely chocolate deaf with sprinkles and reecently my husband decided that there needs to be a strawberry deaf for someone in the middle.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm a deaf professional. My colleagues who work at schools, both mainstreamed and deaf schools use it very occasionally. Like some of you have said, it just means deaf with no other issues that might affect their learning. There are no negative connotations. That your hearing professionals even told you they thought that about Lucas seems like an indicator they trust you to understand what they meant! There's a big furor going on at DeafRead right now about your post, Lucas' Mom, FYI. But then, there's often a big furor over there about SOMEthing. :-)

Lucas'Mommy said...

Thanks for the FYI. I never indicated in my post that I didn't understand what it meant. I was just wondering whether or not others (mostly my blog friends) had come across the term. I find it in no way offensive, and neither should others.