ABOUT DR. FREEMAN
I attended the University of California where I
graduated with a BA as a double major in Psychology and Theatre Arts. After three years working in the schools as a
classroom aide for deaf students, I returned to graduated school to pursue my doctorate in clinical psychology. During this time, I was thrilled
to be named Deaf Woman of the Year by the Quota Club of the South
Bay (Santa Cruz/Salinas/Monterey). I returned back to graduate school
to pursue my doctorate in clinical psychology. I started a program at
Santa Clara County Mental Health for deaf and hard of hearing clients
and continued to work there for 6 years. Soon thereafter, I did my
post-doctorate at Langley Porter at the University of California, Center
on Deafness, in San Francisco, Ca. I have been licensed as a
clinical psychologist since 1988 and as an Marriage, Family Therapist
My hearing impairment was diagnosed at age 3. My
parents discovered it just shy of my third birthday during the
Christmas holidays. They had bought me a
doll buggy and saw my quizzical look when I looked at them asking them
to explain what it was. I looked at their
lips and they saw that I couldn't understand what they said – they were doubly perplexed as it was an item that
every little girl wanted.
Then came the diagnosis - moderate to severe hearing loss. I went to the renowned John Tracy Clinic in Los Angeles for two
years. After being in a self contained
classroom for “hard-of-hearing” children in elementary school, my
parents debated whether I could be mainstreamed for middle school. They had me tested by a psychologist who
recommended mainstreaming (and responsible for my becoming a
psychologist!). Hence, I was mainstreamed
for both middle and high school.
The most frequent question I am asked is “What was
the hardest part of growing up as a hard of hearing child?” The
hardest part wasn’t the years of speech therapy or the tutoring that was
necessary to keep up with my hearing peers but the feelings of
loneliness and isolation as a mainstreamed child and the knowledge
that I was socially behind my peers. It wasn’t until college when
I caught up with my peers and then I faced a different kind of
barrier – the discrimination by teachers who criticized my English
skills. By then, I learned assertiveness skills to educate
teachers and peers that my skills and talents were not determined by my
To this day, I find that I am constantly educating
others about hearing loss and I love my work. I believe that we
all have differences and, as such, while the path may be unique, the
journey towards wholeness and happiness is the same for all of us.
Alison Freeman, Professional Curriculum Vitae
Articles written by Dr. Freeman
"What...Me Hard Of Hearing?? The Silent Epidemic of Hearing Loss"
"How To Deal With Emotional Aspects Of Hearing Loss"
"Self Advocacy Is Our Best Coping Skill"
"We Need A 'Revolution" In Mental Health Services
For People With Hearing Loss"