House of ASL


By Linus Hartigan and Erik Ghokasian

Jayden Mojahedi is a freshman attending Hoover and he is one of the only students to have two deaf parents. Mojahedi revealed some interesting information about the life of a student with deaf parents.


Living with deaf parents, according to Mojahedi, is pretty much the same as living with hearing parents. Since communication plays a big role in day-to-day life, American Sign Language (ASL) acts as the main form of communication in his house.


Mojahedi’s dad, Ali, was born deaf and his mom, Ida became deaf at around one and a half years of age but her parents didn’t find out until she was 3.


Jayden learned ASL, his first language, through his parents. He later learned English from his grandparents who would also play an important role in his life.


Mojahedi and his family have a relatively normal life, with the exception of some changes to accommodate his deaf parents. They have things like a doorbell that turns a light on-and off, and even an alarm clock that flashes light instead of creating noise, and can shake the bed too.


Jayden’s first word in ASL was milk. When he signed it as a child, he did it incorrectly, and still subconsciously signs incorrectly to this day.


“I wasn’t worried at all [about Jayden attending a hearing school],” says Ida Mojahedi, “until he told me he corrected his kindergarten teacher when she put her three fingers up. Jayden said that’s six. I had to explain to him that is the ‘hearing’ way of counting.”


The ASL sign for six is putting up your index, middle, and ring fingers.


Some of the benefits of growing up with deaf parents for Jayden include “being loud in the house without them caring,” being a part of Deaf culture, going to meet-ups for deaf people, and interacting with other amazing people who are in the deaf community.


“I’ve never gotten in trouble for being loud in the house, because my parents can’t hear us,” says Mojahedi, who has a hearing brother. “When I was a kid my friends used to like coming over to visit, because they knew they were allowed to say swear words.”


Other benefits include not having to whisper or yell since all Mojahedi has to do is sign to his parents, and he can sign to them from afar or near. He says he sometimes just turns lights on and off to get their attention since he can´t sign to them if they don’t know he is there.


Something that happens sometimes is spilling drinks and other items, especially at restaurants, since signing can cause you to accidentally knock over things. One time, Jayden’s dad accidentally called the police by hitting an emergency button in his car while signing.


When asked whether she expected Jayden to continue being involved in deaf communities, Ida responded “Definitely yes! He already has a ‘Deaf+Hearing’ culture. He will always be part of Deaf culture.”