Behavioral Control

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6 thoughts on “Behavioral Control

  1. Deaf youths below age 18 who are sex offenders can find themselves in a juvenile correction facility and may have to go to group therapy without a certified interpreter and work with therapists who do not understand Deaf culture. As part of their “treatment” deaf youths are asked to read textbooks that are written above their reading level. They are asked to do written work (writing diaries about themselves) but they do not have the English skills to participate fully in this therapy. Many deaf youths have been victims of sexual abuse as children, then as they grew older, they become the victimizer. It’s a vicious cycle and creates a “school-to-prison-pipeline” effect. This issue has received little attention in schools. Schools tend to expel these vulnerable youths and leave it to the juvenile corrections system to take care of them.


  2. If, in fact, there is such a thing as “Primitive Personality Disorder” which contributes to sexual offenses by young Deaf people then my question is why this is not being adequately explored and why suitable rehabilitative work is not being done.

    I remember how people treated the Deaf when I was a HoH student in college. I learned ASL and integrated myself into the Deaf community in Pocatello, Idaho because I met a Deaf vo-tech student and wanted to get to know him. Language is the repository of culture and without understanding ASL is the repository of Deaf Culture with it’s own syntax, grammar and humor (among other things) communication is fraught with difficulty. “Hearies” don’t understand that ASL is not English.


    1. I have read about cases where the Deaf assailant was merely trying to communicate with a hearing victim. Deaf people are loud and physical in their communications, and often hearing people can feel assaulted by this. Our Contributor, Joanne Greenberg – – posted recently about a case where a Deaf individual was trying to get assistance operating the change machine, in a laundromat. It was late at night, and he and a young woman were alone in the place. It would be quite natural and even understandable for her to be terrified when a total stranger approached her, touching, grunting and gesticulating. Fortunately, in that case, the police were able to discern that the man meant no harm. But, there are other cases which escalate and can result in the Deaf man being incarcerated as a sex-criminal.


      1. At my classes at Deaf Inc. in Boston I have had teachers tell me that the Deaf do their best to avoid contact with the police because of miscommunications that can result in being badly injured or even killed. My mind boggles when “hearies” tell me that if you pretend to be Deaf when the officer stops your car that you won’t get a ticket. The more likely result is that the officer will think you are a smartass and you’ll end up tasered and arrested. It is scary to think about.

        It is as if one is a Martian who has been air-dropped in the US with no abiity to communicate other than with what amounts to unintelligible sounds and hand gestures. I can hear (for now) well enough to get along in quiet venues and in rooms where I can control seating placement and sound environment. I can deal with a cop.

        I wonder if there are identification cards the states can hand out identifying the individual as Deaf that they could hand out I have a disability transit pass, but it doesn’t say I’m HoH. Of course, if you’re shot in the back while “fleeing” the police that you don’t know are shouting at you because you’re Deaf the card does not do any good. Bleh.


        1. Well, as a “Hearie” who has… er… uhm… come to have some knowledge in police procedures – I would never pretend to be Deaf. Not because of the inherent problems faced by the Deaf when dealing with the police, but rather because of the inherent problems faced by anybody when dealing with the police. – General rule of thumb? Don’t piss off the cops.


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