Saturday’s Book: A Senior’s Film and “In This Sign” by Greenberg

One of my students showed me this graduation project made by a 12th grader at another school. The girl tells about her life as the eldest daughter in a family in which both parents are deaf. In the film she describes how she had to grow up really fast and how much her entire family (two younger siblings)  relies on her. She interperts for her parents and is responsible for her siblings homework (not to mention housework , but that’s not because her parents are deaf). The heroine also talks about dreams she gave up. This short film is in Hebrew with Hebrew subtitles.

The film made me very sad. It reminded of a powerful book I  read years ago called “In this Sign” by Joanne Greenberg, which came out in 1970 (it seems to have come out in a new edition in the 80’s but I’m talking about 1970). This tale is also narrated by a hearing daughter of deaf parents who had to grow up very quickly as her parents relied on her so much. But that was in the days when hearing aids were nothing like they are today, there were no cochlear implants AND all this awesome world of technology was not available for the deaf. I know how independant deaf people can be today.

Yet, here this girl is, telling a similar tale, 43 years later. So sad.

By the way, I just discovered when Googling this book that it was written by the same author of another great book ” I never promised you a rose garden”. The author used a pseudonym.



2 thoughts on “Saturday’s Book: A Senior’s Film and “In This Sign” by Greenberg”

  1. In the above movie Hearing aids and Cochlear Implants were not available at the time. Though Hearing aids and Cochlear Implants are widely available and some Governments have been covering them under sponsored medical schemes, unfortunately many elders refuse to use a Hearing aid. Recent studies show that it takes a minimum of 3 years from the time of detection of Hearing loss for people to finally use a Hearing aid. I came across this article which addresses the issue in detail. Untreated hearing loss is a know cause of depression and can lead to Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

    1. Thank you for commenting, Amrik!
      The BOOK is about a time without cochlear implants and a lack of technological aids.
      The movie is about the present day.
      Israel is very advanced in the field of cochlear implants, in worldwide standards. Not to mention the availabilty of 4G cell phones and the Internet. Yet the sad story in this particular case is stil present.

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