My CODA Experience

My CODA Experience

My CODA Experience

What is a CODA? As a child, I did not know what this acronym meant. Now I understand CODA and the significance the acronym holds. Child of Deaf Adult. I am a CODA and proud to be a part of a wonderful community.

I always knew I was in a different situation than most children growing up but until I was older, I did not realize the communication differences or maturity differences. Because I did so much communication on behalf of my mother, I developed communication skills much earlier and much quicker than other children my age. Looking back, I am forever grateful for those skills because I transitioned into my early teenage years and beyond with a great skill set.

I remember interpreting for my mother or calling places of business to schedule appointments for her from an early age. My mother wasted no time having me help her; as soon as I could understand what someone was saying and regurgitate it back out, I was in the hot seat! I did not realize the impact deafness had on her world and the inequalities she and others in a similar situation faced. A large part of why I am with Safe’N’Clear is to help remove the barriers to communication!

Living with someone with deafness, you learn to adapt to communication barriers and try to proactively avoid the barriers. I was able to take my home life and my experiences into the “real world.” When I am out, I always face the person I am talking to, actively engage and listen, and provide nonverbal feedback. While writing this article, I realized all the skills I use daily to try and make communication go as smoothly as possible- will communication ever be perfect? No but, I can strive to make communication flow as best as I can.

When I started dating my fiancée, I gave him a heads-up that my mother was deaf and that when he speaks to her, he needs to face her, etc. I received a jaw dropped look in response! Come to find out, his mother is also deaf. I was ecstatic to meet his mother because I felt comfortable communicating with her. I was excited that I met another CODA!

CODAs can bring a new skill set or more developed skill set to the table based on their experiences growing up. I know of other CODAs whose experiences growing up were not as great as mine and they faced other challenges. Everyone’s experience is going to be different. I hope this article shares some insight into being a CODA and the experiences I had as a CODA.

Mother Father Deaf Day (aka CODA Day) is celebrated on the last Sunday in April. If you would like more information on Mother Father Deaf Day, visit

I am a CODA and proud to be a part of a wonderful community.