Tell-alls by parents of disabled kids is a genre now, but when Deaf Like Me first was published, it was an unusual book for the market. The story is of the Spradley family, and daughter Lynn, who is one of many children born Deaf in the US in the late sixties and early seventies, the result of an epidemic of Rubella (German Measles).
At the time Lynn's deafness was diagnosed, the common wisdom among hearing professionals was that children born deaf should not be exposed to any kind of sign language, and instead should receive intensive tutoring, even as infants, in speaking and speechreading. Although the tide would turn soon, the Spradleys had no way of anticipating that; they embarked on an odyssey of trying to teach Lynn to speak, and with a hearing aid, and by watching intently, to appear to listen as a hearing child.
After many years of pouring words into Lynn, with the promise from the experts that one day Lynn would finally pour the words back out, the Spradleys are frustrated with not being able to talk to their daughter. Lynn is several years old, and becoming a discipline problem.
Then one day, the Spradleys meet a five year old, signing Deaf child, a child who not only communicates with her parents, but makes jokes. The Spradleys are forced to reconsider years of expert advice balanced against one little girl who can talk to her parents, where their daughter cannot.
How the Spradleys learn to stand on their own, and disregard the experts, even in the face of some heavy censure, is the story of heroism. This is a book to own, because you will want to return to it again and again.