Predictably, many of the tropes relating to D/deaf and hard of hearing characters deal with communication methods and degree of hearing loss. Most, if not all, of these tropes have to do with people’s assumptions and wishful thinking about hearing loss.
Ever seen the Allstate commercial? “I’m a random windstorm. Shaky, shaky.” Well, sometimes that’s how life feels when you’re a kid with disabilities. Because I’m both very random and my life can be, well, pretty shaky.
A mistake I see a lot of writers who write about disability make is asking only one person for help. I’ve heard so many people say things like, “I have a cousin who is blind, and she read the book and said it was good at portraying blindness.”
I’ve never written fiction about living with Crohn’s, and to be honest, I’ve never wanted to. Perhaps because I still feel what I felt for years growing up: that nobody wants to hear about my annoying, humiliating misery. Yet I know, intellectually, that this is a shame, because there should be more characters in YA literature who live with chronic illnesses like IBD.