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Review: Seeing Voices

December 8, 2011

Seeing Voices
Seeing Voices by Oliver Sacks
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am a huge fan of Dr. Sacks. When you ask me who I would most like to meet if I could meet anyone on this planet, well, Dr. Sacks makes the top 3.
This is the only book of his that I’ve had trouble with, and it was only because I spent 17 years as an educator of young hearing-impaired children. I believe strongly in teaching deaf kids to talk. There are very few children, regardless of their level of deafness, who can’t learn to communicate in this way.
Unfortunately, Dr. Sacks, in his beautiful empathetic way, seemed to me to fall under the spell of the deaf community advocates who feel teaching deaf kids to talk is akin to abuse.
This continued to sadden and frustrate me throughout the book, which dampened my enjoyment.
Regardless of this, I hold Dr. Sacks in high esteem. I just wish he’d come to my school and see my students. Listen to my students. He would find joy in the experience. Especially when they raise their voices in song, proving that music and voice is a gift they relish.

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