What Are Some of the Problems of Being a CODA?
CODAs, or Children of Deaf Adults, are individuals who have at least one Deaf parent. CODAs are often bilingual, able to communicate in both American Sign Language (ASL) and English. Although this unique ability can be an advantage, it can also be a source of confusion and difficulty for CODAs.
One of the most significant problems CODAs face is the struggle to find a sense of identity. CODAs have a fundamentally different lived experience than their hearing peers, and this can influence their individual identity. Many CODAs feel that a big part of their identity is Deaf, while the other half is hearing. This can lead to feelings of confusion and not belonging.
Another problem CODAs face is the lack of support and understanding from their hearing peers. CODAs often feel isolated and misunderstood, as their peers may not understand their unique experiences. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and exclusion.
CODAs also often face communication difficulties. Although they are bilingual, CODAs may find it difficult to communicate with both Deaf and hearing people. They may feel like they don’t fit in with either group, as they don’t fully understand either language. This can lead to feelings of frustration and isolation.
Finally, CODAs may also experience discrimination from both Deaf and hearing people. Deaf people may feel that CODAs are not “Deaf enough”, while hearing people may view them as “too Deaf”. This can lead to feelings of alienation and exclusion.
Being a CODA can be a difficult experience, but it can also be a rewarding one. CODAs can use their unique experiences to help bridge the gap between Deaf and hearing cultures. With understanding and support, CODAs can find a sense of identity and belonging.