Mother-Daughter Team Has Been Published!!!

The Editor of The Hearing Journal, a medical publication that focuses on hearing impairments and deafness, and is regarded as "The Industry's Most Respected Publication" contacted me after she caught wind of Rachel's testimony at the State Capitol.  She asked me if I would be willing to write an article explaining the events that took place around Rachel getting the law passed in Connecticut.  I was elated and honored to do so.  When I began to write, I had an idea. For years, since she could hold a crayon in her hand, my 11 year old daughter has said that she wants to be a writer someday. So I thought, let's put her to the test.  I asked the Editor if we could submit an article with both our perspectives.  She loved the idea.

When I proposed the idea to Rachel, she said, "Mom, I want to be a fiction writer."  I said back, "Okay, then go pretend this all happened to someone else."  She looked at me and said, "M-aaaaahhhmmm," as only a pre-teenager can do and get away with.  (It's the precursor to, 'Gaaaahhhhd.  You're sooooo stupid.  I hate you.  You ruin everything!") But seeing as she is only 11, and I still have some control, (or at least I fool myself into thinking that I do), my daughter typed up her 750 word allotment and I did too.  We submitted it and the Editor said she loved it.  She emphasized that it was "GREAT" and said, "Rachel has a clear command of the English language for someone so young. I barely did any editing!"

To see the actual online article that was submitted to 14,000 readers, primarily audiologists, click here:  Hearing-Impaired Girl Advocates Law for Deaf Students

I was happy to see that the editors didn't change too too much. Rachel's article is almost verbatim; mine was cut a little. But I guess audiologists don't need to know:

My only experience with deafness was when I was a child, I had a deaf cat. We couldn’t call to the cat to come because she couldn't hear us. So, to get her attention, we would throw inanimate objects near the cat to cause a vibration so she would look around. When telling my daughter the story of my cat, she asked, horrified, “Mom, did you ever throw things at me?”  “’Near’, Dear. I said I threw things ‘near’ the cat, not at. And no, I never threw things at you. But your messy room made it tempting.”

Another thing that was cut:

I drove her to the Capitol so she could contribute to the process, but must admit that the only thing I knew about Bills was from “Schoolhouse Rock - I’m just a Bill on Capitol Hill”.

Being the musical person that I am, this just made sense to include in the article.  But I guess if anything had to be cut, these two things were inconsequential to the story and I was fine with it.  I have submitted other publications and had them destroyed by editors, making my words barely recognizable to what I said.  So I thank Jennifer Verlangieri, the Editor of The Hearing Journal, for not massacring our words and keeping the content close to what we submitted.

My Kaneclusion:  I take everything that happens in life as an opportunity to teach my daughter something.  This whole experience was no different.  I want her to find her passion in life and if I can help her do that, then I consider my job as a mother to be a success.  She wants to be a writer, yes.  But more specifically, she wants to be a graphic novelist.  For my birthday this year, Rachel worked for weeks to make me her first graphic novel.  It was nothing short of spectacular.  With explicit detail, she drew an adaptation of "The Wizard of Oz" but changed the characters to resemble the closest people in her life.  My character was Dorothy.  I was just so thankful that she didn't pick the Wicked Witch of the West for me.  Or worse yet, the Wicked Witch of the East, having no part in the story whatsoever but having my red and white striped socks rolling up under the house that just dropped on me, killing me instantly.  (Thank you, Rachel!)  The entire book was incredible.  Getting to my point, before submitting our articles to The Hearing Journal, I asked Rachel to create some graphics that the editors might consider using.  Being a medical publication, they chose not to publish the graphics, but I am including them here for posterity:

Rachel's Its Now a Law Graphic #1

Rachel's Mom and Her Transistor Radio Graphic #2

The online eNewsletter article has also been submitted to their published monthly newsletter that reaches 22,000 readers.  If it does go to print, Rachel will receive a printed version of her first published work!  Very exciting! - Even though she would have preferred it to be a graphic novel, it still looks good for the college manuscript.

To see the printed pdf version, click here.


Maureen said...

Very cool! I enjoyed reading both perspectives! Thanks for sharing!

Tim said...

That is terrific! She is doing great things so early. It has great promise.

Alyson said...

That's wonderful thank you for sharing.

Rosh said...

Sharon, you should absolutely be proud and boastful! What a great accomplishment and fantastic read! Congrats and thanks for sharing.

Frank said...

I cannot begin to imagine how proud you must be….

Kerri said...

NICELY done!!! I am proud for you!

Elaine said...

This is positively the best.. you absolutely should be bursting with pride. What a girl! She won’t have to worry about what she will write about on her college essay!

Julia said...

Wow, really neat to read about - thanks for sharing!

Diane N said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kimothy said...

Congratulations to the mother-daughter team on being published together! Not only has Rachel inherited the music gene, but it seems that the writing talent has been passed down, too. Fantastic!

Diane Nelson said...

Sharon this is a wonderful testament to auditory-verbal education and a parent who educates herself in how to do the very best for their child. Many people are unaware that many deaf and hard of hearing people can learn to speak like their typical peers with the proper amplification, dedicated parents and teachers and early identification. Rachel is the model of a child who had early identification and was amplified early. I know that you had to put a lot of dedication into her education and you not only followed through with lessons suggested by her teachers but also took it a step further to learn more yourself about hearing loss so that Rachel could reach her academic, social and emotional potential. Bravo to her teachers, parent and to Rachel for keeping the faith while striving for excellence as well as trying to improve the education and opportunities for all people with hearing loss.

I would really like you to send this to a women’s magazine like Better Homes and Gardens or Family Circle or Women’s Day. Let me explain why before you think I am crazy…..most people do not know about auditory verbal deaf education. Sign language is what they see and hear and know because it is “fun” if you are not deaf. We need more PR like this to everyone. Think about it…and I agree Barry White is much more interesting to listen to than Frankie Valli-you are a riot, she gets her writing influence and comic side from you I think. Thanks for sharing.

Meredith said...

That was beautiful and amazing!!!You are both wonderful and talented writers.

Andrew said...

wow, what a wonderful story, I will be sure to congratulate her!
Take Care,

Anna said...

Thank you for sharing your lovely stories. They are very touching.
Congratulations on your team work and to Rachel for her first published work!!

Rebecca said...

Sharon --

Thanks for sharing this. I really enjoyed reading both of your posts
and seeing the Channel 8 news coverage (which ironically I couldn't
hear on my work computer... I 'll need to listen to it from home, but
you all looked really good!).

It's so fun to get to know another side of Rachel -- apart from her
dynamo soccer side, which we know so well.

Sheila said...

Awesome article!!!

Julie said...

absolutely inspirational! Way to go!!!!