BISC 7A Paper #1
Summary of Deaf like Me
Louise and Thomas Spradley are a fairly average American couple. They are young, married, and have one child, Bruce, and they of course love him deeply. One summer, Bruce becomes ill with German measles, or rubella. Just a few days before this diagnosis, Louise discovered that she was pregnant. The doctor tells her that contracting rubella while pregnant could lead to various congenital defects in the newborn. The indefinite quality of this warning serves as the material for Louise and Thomas’s nightmares for the next nine months.
When Lynn Spradley is finally born, she appears to be a perfectly normal and healthy child. She has no physical deformities, nor any noticeable mental deficiencies. Louise and Thomas are hesitantly relieved. Thomas admits in the book to having still lingering fears for months to come. However Lynn continues to grow and develop in a perfectly healthy manner. Gradually, her parents stop living in fear. They relax; secure in the love of their newest child.
Around the time Lynn reaches the age of six months, she and her family attend a Fourth of July celebration. As is typical of these events, there were fireworks. Characteristic of a child her age, Lynn fell asleep before the festivities started. When the fireworks started exploding, Thomas expected Lynn to wake. She did not. Nor did she start at all in reaction to the thunderous sounds. She slept soundly on. This was the first time Thomas and Louise suspected their daughter might be deaf.
After a barrage of tests and the passage of close to two years, it was determined that Lynn had a profound hearing loss. The next years were spent attempting to train Lynn’s residual hearing though use of a hearing aid. Another component to this approach was the efforts spent trying to get Lynn to talk. Louise and Thomas were led to believe that the only way Lynn could be a functioning part of society was if she was