Imagine not being able to listen to music, being ostracized from your classmates because they can't understand the way you speak, relying solely on text messages, IMs, and email as forms of communication, or not knowing the sound of you own...... Read Full Episode Summary »
On this episode of True life, we follow Christopher and Amanda as they try to fit in with the hearing world.
Imagine not being able to listen to music, being ostracized from your classmates because they can't understand the way you speak, relying solely on text messages, IMs, and email as forms of communication, or not knowing the sound of you own mother's voice. For most teenagers, those are things simply taken for granted, but for Amanda and Chris, those are things with which they struggle every day.
Chris is 16 years old from Vernon, NJ and has been deaf since the day he was born. Chris loves skateboarding with his friends. However since he is embarrassed about the way his voice sounds, he has never tried to talk, so he struggles to communicate with his friends through sign language. And even though Chris is the only deaf member in his family, he has an easier time communicating with them because his parents have always used sign language with him. Chris attends a regular high school with a special program for deaf teenagers, and while he is comfortable in the contained classes, he struggles in the mainstream classes because he has trouble feeling connected to hearing people. Although Chris is proud of being deaf, he decides to get a cochlear implant because he wants to be involved in the hearing world so that he can communicate with his friends, talk with girls, and ultimately fulfill his dreams of having a job and getting married.
Amanda is 21 years old and is a junior on the pom squad at Towson University in Towson, Maryland. She, like Chris, has been deaf since birth, however she communicates with people by speaking and using a hearing aid in addition to reading peoples' lips. Amanda has to deal with many difficulties on a day to day basis as a result of being deaf, yet her inability to hear has not stopped her from pursing her passion for dance. Learning to listen to the vibrations in the music has allowed Amanda to start dancing at a very young age, and now, determined to not let her deafness hold her back from what she loves, Amanda has dreams of joining the Baltimore Raven's Dance Team. For Amanda, although she sometimes wishes she could hear, she believes being deaf has also been the best thing that has happened to her-it's made her who she is today.
How does a deaf boy date a hearing girl? How do you go from living a life in silence to fully understanding the spoken language? And how do you succeed in a cut-throat audition being deaf when the hundreds of other contests are not? Find out this and more on True Life: I'm Deaf.