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My Child is Deaf. Now What?

Created by Susan Reyna as a project for Intro to Deaf Communities Class at Lone Star College.

Susan Reyna

on 3 May 2012

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Transcript of My Child is Deaf. Now What?

Communicate My Child is Deaf
Now What? Often people think being deaf is about not hearing. Really, it is about communicating in a different way. What is Deaf? The only different
things about a
deaf child are their
hearing level and
communication mode. “Deaf people can do anything, except hear.”
- I. King Jordan
(Former President of Gallaudet University)

“In terms of a disability, I don’t view myself as having a disability…I function like any other hearing person can. My deafness does not deprive me of anything.
I can do anything I want. Except maybe sing.”
- Summer Cider (Gallaudet University Recruiter) Feelings Shock Denial Anger Stress Guilt Grief Anxiety Uncertainty Depression Anxiety Wait There is no urgency.
Take care of yourself.
Your child needs you to be well and strong.
Deal with those feelings first. Through it all:
Trust yourself. Always remember:
Be gentle with yourself. Ask for help to resolve your feelings
before you make decisions. Grow When you feel ready: Share your feelings Network Give to others Accept help Gather information Get involved Expect difficulties Share your experiences Be open to laughter Bond Children
to: form relationships build trust give form
to thoughts tell us who
they are play explore learn experiment create Deaf children use
their eyes instead of
their ears to
communicate. Your job:
Nurture your child;
paying extra attention
to the visual elements. cuddle coo make eye contact facial expressions simple signs gestures read books finger-play sing Deaf babies raised by deaf parents
start babbling with their fingers
and then signing their first words
at approximately the same ages
as hearing babies start babbling
and speaking their first words. Hints for successful communication as your child grows:
Keep your face toward the child at all times
Keep information flowing
Assume nothing
Restate to ensure your understanding
Be explicit in your communication
Teach and learn by playing
Communicate with your whole self
use your face, body and imagination All people rely at least partially on
unspoken communication: wrinkled nose blinks nods sweeping arm movements rolling eyes clenched teeth biting lips yawns pursed lips wide eyes narrowed eyes lowered eyebrows raised eyebrows grimaces frowns smiles crossed arms tiny finger movements shrugs attitude of the spine angled head bared teeth Essential communication tips:
Maintain eye contact
Get on your child's level
Avoid holding back or exaggerating movements
Naturally respond with your face and body
Remember mimicry is a developmental phase
Relax and be flexible
Be consistent
Never underestimate your child Do research before you choose
a mode of communication for
your child. You do not have
the luxury of waiting until
your child is old enough to
decide. Consider:
How the communication mode fits your child's temperament
Your family's readiness and willingness to learn
Long-term consequences of your decision
Advice you receive may be tainted by the sources' unique experiences and prejudices
There are ongoing controversies of which you should be aware (but do not need to take sides in) Communication Modes:
Total Communication Oralists are committed to teaching
deaf and hard-of-hearing children
to communicate solely in spoken
language. They teach speech and
speechreading (lipreading) and
encourage use of aids to amplify
any residual hearing children
may have. Manualists are committed to teaching
deaf and hard-of-hearing children to
communicate in a visual sign system.
Some believe in using sign alone.
Some promote a combination of visual signs with oral communication. Total Communication is a
technique of using whatever
works: oralism, manualism,
auditory training, visual aids,
etc. Once you choose a communication mode:
Keep an open mind.
Evaluate regularly - Is it working?
Don't be afraid to make changes if the mode you chose is not right for your child.
Support your choice by consistently using it yourself.
Ensure family members and visitors to your home include your child in conversations and learn to use your child's communication mode. Choices If you choose oral communication, you will also need to choose between methods. Take you time and do research. Three popular methods are:
Aural/oral method - Child communicates mainly by speaking and speechreading. Any residual hearing may be amplified, but the main goal is to speak and visually interpret a speaker's English. Educate people your child interacts with, to ease your child's burden
At large gatherings, check for your child's inclusion and understanding
Do not simplify your conversations with your child. Discuss deep feelings and issues with them
Never assume a link between your child's speaking ability and his/her intelligence or abilities in other areas of life If you choose manual communication, again there are options. Take your time to research the options before making a decision.
American Sign Language (ASL) - A complete, distinct language with its own grammar and syntax rules.
Manually Coded English (MCE) - Systems of signs in English word order with special markers to represent syntax. Two common forms of MCE are:
Signing Exact English (SEE) - There are several variations of SEE.
Signed English In the US, these seven communication systems are used widely to educate deaf and hard-of-hearing children:
Bilingual/Bicultural - Teaching ASL as the child's first language and English as a second language. Often includes extra-emphasis on Deaf culture and history
Cued Speech
MCE systems
Total Communication Your choice of the communication system which best fits your child will be linked to the school choices you will make. Education When choosing a school, consider:
The school's philosophy and curriculum
How they evaluate students' progress
Extracurricular activities offered
Teacher qualifications
Class sizes
Support services available
How the school communicates with parents
How dedicated they are to ensuring daily use of aids (if applicable)
Availability of other services your child may need Also consider:
What is the noise level of the classrooms?
Are the classrooms well-lighted?
Is the atmosphere welcoming?
Do seating arrangement allow student to see classmates as well as teachers?
Are there any deaf staff members?
Is vocational training available if your child opts not to go to college?
Request a sample of various levels of assignments. In addition to the communication method used by the school, you also can choose between:
Mainstreaming programs in public schools
Schools for Deaf Students
Day schools
Charter schools
Public Residential Schools
Private Residential Schools Mainstream Programs place children with special needs in regular classes.
Each child's situation and educational needs are assessed.
Free education appropriate to each child's needs is provided (in the least restrictive environment.)
School provides supplemental aids and services to ensure each child's success. Possible Support Services:
Specially trained teacher for the deaf
Note takers
Other specialist such as audiologist, speech therapist, counselor, etc.
Special equipment such as FM system, captioning, etc.

Also consider if your child will be able to adapt to being one of the only deaf children in the class or even the school. Schools for deaf students have a curricula
developed specifically for deaf students.
The teachers are all specially trained.
All students use the same communication mode.
The learning environment is designed for visual learning.
The extracurricular activities are available to all students.
Student often say they find social and emotional comfort being around other deaf students. Differences between schools for deaf students:
Day schools
Students live at home and commute to school
Usually found in larger cities where there is a concentration of deaf citizens
Charter schools
Another form of day school with students living at home
Often curriculum developed with parental involvement Technology Not only can technology help your child communicate, but it can also enable your child to be independent - very important for your family's health and happiness. TTY (teletypewriter) formerly known as TDD (telecommunications device for the deaf) allows deaf people to communicate with others who have a TTY or through a relay service with those who do not. (Teach your child to type at a young age!)
Captions - Keep them on all the time. They also help with reading skills!
Signaling devices: include flashing lights or vibrations on door bells, smoke and fire alarms, alarm clocks, etc. Cochlear Implants

A newer controversy:
implant or not? Cochlear implants are surgically implanted in the inner ear under general anesthesia. How they work:
Behind the ear, a microphone-transmitter-cable, similar to a hearing aid, absorbs sound.
A small computer called a speech processor receives the sounds and translates it into electronic signals.
An external transmitter held onto the skull by a magnet conveys the signals to the internal receiver implanted just under the skin above and behind the ear. The receiver sends the signals to an implanted wire with an electrode array extending into the cochlea. Those electrodes stimulate the nerve tissue, which sends impulses to the brain, which then tries to interpret those impulses as sounds. Much of the controversy involves whether implanting this device in small children is an attempt to wipe out the Deaf culture.

There are also concerns about the safety of the procedure. The most common risk associated with receiving a cochlear implant is developing meningitis, so patients are now recommended to receive a meningitis vaccination before the surgery.

Some people fear deaf children may feel they were not good enough since their parents felt they had to go to such great lengths to surgically "fix" them. Cons:
Cochlear implants do not cure hearing loss.
They do not work for everyone.
Those who are helped will still be
hearing impaired and need accommodations.
Implantees will need much training to learn to interpret the impulses as sound.
Implanting the device causes the person to
lose any residual hearing they may have
had, so it is only recommended for patients with profound hearing loss. Resources First some practical recommendations:
Use social media such as Facebook to network and find out about deaf social events.
"Like" deaf groups and organizations.
"Friend" community members with similar situations.
"Unfriend or "Unsubscribe" from any groups or "friends" which stress you out.
Subscribe to other internet blogs. Deaf Education Websites:
State of Texas DARS (Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services) ECI (Early Childhood Intervention ) program
Search for Texas ECI services by county
Gallaudet University’s list of Schools and Programs for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students in the United States
http://www.gallaudet.edu/clerc_center/information_and_resources/info_to_go/resources/websites_of_schools_and_programs_for_deaf_students_.html Networking/
Support Groups/
Service Provider Websites:

State of Texas DARS (Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services)
About.com’s page about Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community in Houston, Texas
Houston Deaf Network
Deaf Network of Texas
http://deafnetwork.com/wordpress/ ASL websites:
http://www.signingsavvy.com/ Technology Websites:
National Captioning Institute
Deaf Linx
The Hearing Blog
Technology in (spl) Education
http://techinspecialed.com/ Websites with books for kids:
Harris Communications:
My Shelf.com
http://www.myshelf.com/deaf/characters.htm Sources

"Cochlear Implants." Hearing Loss Web Home. Web. 02 May 2012. <http://www.hearinglossweb.com/tech/ci/ci.htm>.

"Deaf Technology." - Opening Doors for the Deaf. Web. 01 May 2012. <http://www.start-american-sign-language.com/deaf-technology.html>.

"Fookem and Bug." Fookem and Bug. Web. 28 Apr. 2012. <http://fookembug.wordpress.com/2008/05/16/deaf-quotes-and-quotations/>.

Meadow-Orlans, Kathryn P., Donna M. Mertens, and Marilyn A. Sass-Lehrer. Parents and Their Deaf Children: The Early Years. Washington: Gallaudet UP, 2003. Print.

Ogden, Paul W. The Silent Garden: Raising Your Deaf Child. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet UP, 1996. Print.
Harvey, Michael A. Odyssey of Hearing Loss: Tales of Triumph. San Diego: DawnSignPress, 1998. Print.

Meadow-Orlans, Kathryn P., Donna M. Mertens, and Marilyn A. Sass-Lehrer. Parents and Their Deaf Children: The Early Years. Washington: Gallaudet UP, 2003. Print.

Ogden, Paul W. The Silent Garden: Raising Your Deaf Child. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet UP, 1996. Print.

Padden, Carol, and Tom Humphries. Deaf in America: Voices from a Culture. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1988. Print. Now what? Love your child. It will be okay. Cued Speech - Child is taught speech and speechreading. The speechreading is supplemented by handshapes in certain positions to indicate vowels and consonants. These signals help the child to interpret the correct pronunciation of words. Acoupedic method - Child is taught to rely less on speechreading than on residual hearing sharpened by amplification and auditory training. Thoughts on oralism:
If your child learns to speak well, do not assume they can understand everything being said around them
Encourage your child to have deaf friends and role models
Allow your child to also learn ASL if they want
Refrain from correcting your child's speech in public Options:
Regular classroom with special services
Part-time in regular classroom and part-time in special classroom
Team teaching - A teacher trained to teach deaf children is paired with a regular teacher.
Parents opt out of special services (not recommended) Public Residential schools
Boarding schools (sometimes also offer day program)
More time for students to bond with deaf peers and learn ASL, etc.
Private Residential school
same boarding principle as public version
usually smaller and expensive
usually oral program Signaling dog or Hearing ear dog (usually best to wait until your child is grown)
CART (computer-assisted real-time) captioning in which a person transcribes everything as it is said
Videophones which allow deaf people to sign with someone else who has a videophone or through a video relay service (VRS)
Webcams! The Internet! When reading articles written by Deaf activists, try not to think all deaf people hate hearing people.
Most Deaf people are happy to help someone who is trying to learn about Deaf culture and/or ASL.
Numerous Deaf adults have voiced a desire to give information to hearing parents who are trying to make decisions involving deaf children. They want to give their input as someone who has "been there."
If you make a mistake, apologize, forgive yourself, and try again!
(Note: When "Deaf" is capitalized, it signified the Deaf culture. Lower case "deaf" describes the medical condition.) Cy-Fair ISD Special Education:
T.H. Rogers School (HISD)
Texas School for the Deaf
Melinda Webb (Oral school in Houston)
Another Path
Metro Deaf School (Not in this area but an excellent example of a successful Charter school)
http://mdsmn.org/ Hands and Voices
Hearing Loss Association of America
The Hearing Aid Teacher blog
Deaf Chat
http://deaf.com/ Recommended Reading:
Benderly, Beryl Lieff. Dancing without Music: Deafness in America. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet UP, 1990. Print.

Carroll, Cathryn, and Susan Mozzer-Mather. Movers & Shakers: Deaf People Who Changed the World : Twenty-six Tales of Genius, Struggle, Perseverance and Heroism. San Diego, CA: DawnSignPress, 1997. Print.

Cerney, Janet. Deaf Education in America: Voices of Children from Inclusion Settings. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet UP, 2007. Print.

Gray, Daphne, and Gregg Lewis. Yes, You Can, Heather!: The Story of Heather Whitestone, Miss America 1995. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1995. Print. Rosner, Jennifer. If a Tree Falls: A Family's Quest to Hear and Be Heard. New York: Feminist, 2010. Print.

Schein, Jerome Daniel. At Home among Strangers. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet UP, 2002. Print.

Sheridan, Martha. Inner Lives of Deaf Children: Interviews and Analysis. Washington, DC: Gallaudet UP, 2001. Print.

Thomas, Bernadette, and Cindy Dowling. A Different Kind of Perfect: Writings by Parents on Raising a Child with Special Needs. Boston: Trumpeter, 2006. Print.

Wright, David. Deafness: An Autobiography. New York: HarperPerennial, 1994. Print. Don't be overprotective
Expose your child to the world
Include your child in your conversations with others
Explain social conventions to your child
Reject others' low-expectations of your child
Refrain from permissiveness
Expect your child to do their fair share
Prepare your child to explain their differentness (at about age 4) More considerations:
Cochlear implants may give deaf children
the opportunity to perceive sound.
Perceiving sound would help improve speech recognition.
It also could improve the ability to speak.
It could make background noises more tolerable.
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