Thanks to the commenters who shared their feedback with constructive dialogue, I can see that it led this girl to turn around by adding that she is not implying that if you do not have a cochlear implant, and if you use ASL, you are not ‘normal’. This is a definitely different statement than what she said earlier. She added in a more positive statement, "For those of you who sign, or use hearing aids, of course you lead normal lives, and live in and contribute to society." It turned out that her definition of leading "a normal life" means being "able to listen to music, to play in the percussion ensemble, to dance in my high school’s dance company, to perform in musicals and theater, to win awards for performing Shakespeare monologues, and to give speeches in front of thousands of people. This is what I choose for myself and I’m certainly not judging those of you that do not have these aspirations." So it turns out that her definition of normal is different from the others so the question remains; what exactly is normal? Does it mean that listening music and playing instruments qualify the definition of normal?
Anyway, we know very well that there are Deaf people without CIs are involved in the music and dance world. Look at the Wild Zappers, an all male dance company founded by Irvine Stewart, Fred Beam, and Warren Snipe, is under the auspices of the National Deaf Dance Theatre. Also at Rathskellar site, click on media since you can see how well they dance and sign in ASL with harmony. And of course, my finacee who plays the electric guitar in Beethoven's Nightmare, the only Deaf band in the world. My point is that you don't have to wear CIs in order to be normal by appreciating music since it is open to anyone who has this passion regardless of their hearing level.
Here is another statement that this girl said, "I’ve seen so much success for those who have the CIs that it is difficult for me to understand why a profoundly deaf person would refuse to get one." For my case, I am satisfied with my hearing aid and even if I am not, I would still not get it anyway. I think it goes both ways, for people with or without CIs having success since it is not only limited to those who have CIs are the one who have success. Again, the question: "What is success?" is like the question "What is normal?" What I am talking about success being the ability to have a decent job and own a nice home, which has nothing to do with one's level of hearing. In order for success to be in the picture, one simply needs the right kind of personality and right amount of drive. It is not necessarily true that all people with CIs or all profoundly Deaf people can be successful. Now to approach her question why a profoundly Deaf person would refuse to get it, reasons may vary. For my case, my Deaf children actually begged me not to give them CIs.
I would never forget when my son, aged four, came home one day looking terrified and asked me if he would be next getting a CI. I asked him why was he expressing so much anxiety. He replied that his six classmates were getting it, one at a time, and saw the stitch wounds on their heads after they returned from a long period of absence. It wasn't the wounds that worried my son. He also told me that they were not happy about being implanted and that their moods changed a lot. They had been crying and became withdrawn.
I understand that children at that age undergoing such changes must be confused. I assured him that I would never force him to get one so I kept my promise. Now my son is ten years old and he is grateful to be the way he is today. He felt that he is the luckiest Deaf boy to be blessed in a family that doesn't force him to become someone that he is not. I can guarantee you that he is not alone feeling this way. It is truly a blessing that not all Deaf people have to go though this procedure and to experience the beauty of the visual language.
You know when this same girl made a statement like "I have numerous friends who use hearing aids and ASL and I respect them a certainly consider them to be normal, but that does not take away from the fact that it is more difficult to communicate with them, than with my normal hearing friends or other CI users." To me it is like saying, " I have numerous hearing friends and I respect them a certainly consider them to be normal, that does not take away from the fact that it is more difficult to communicate with them, than with my normal Deaf friends or other hearing aid users?" I guess there are always two sides of the coin when it comes to life.
Nevertheless, I encouraged her to learn ASL and read more about bilingual education for Deaf children. I also added that there are former oral Deaf people even those with cochlear implants who are still incapable of developing intelligible speech and that their English skills are not as advanced than those who grew up with both languages. I just hope she and other people are able to keep their minds open about these things. I have nothing against oral communication as long as it fit Deaf child and that the child also be allowed to use ASL. Here is a research document stating that using American Sign Language can facilitate the development of skills in spoken English for the Deaf and hard of hearing. Using ASL is perfectly normal. This is certainly true!