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Things to Think of When Raising a Deaf Child

By Mark Slansky
Food Pyramid -

A parent brings a child into the world hoping for eternally sunny skies and smooth sailing. We want the best experiences for our bundles of joy and wish only great opportunities upon their future. When a child is born without the ability to hear, it can initially feel like a looming disadvantage for parents who fear the struggles a deaf child may have to face.

Fortunately, the modern world is one in which a child can thrive no matter what challenges he or she faces. Raising a deaf child can be a beautiful experience through which a family learns about resilience and spirit alongside one another. There are several resources and opportunities available to those who are learning how to raise a deaf child.

Support Groups

One of the best ways to deal with unexpected or difficult circumstances is to reach out to others who are going through the same thing. If you are raising a deaf child, take the time to research what support groups for both parents and children are available in your community. Spending time with other parents of hearing-impaired children can be a great way to find the encouragement you need and swap tips and recommendations.

Seek school involvement

Parents raising a deaf child will innately understand their child’s desire to take part in “normal” activities with other children their age. Parents of children with auditory impairments should make it a priority to see what programs, assistance and auditory therapies are a part of school curriculum. Now, more than ever, schools are making an effort to provide various avenues of aid that help children with disabilities be a part of school-wide activities and functions. Many schools are now able to provide interpreters for children who require their assistance.

Keep conversation going

When raising a deaf child, one of the most important tools to overcoming adversity is keeping lines of communication open and active. Talk to your child often about struggles and concerns they are having with their condition. When other children or parents have questions, feel free to answer them honestly. Being open about what it means to be deaf and how to best deal with difficulty will make any obstacle manageable. It will also instill a sense of social comfort surrounding deafness in your child.

Sign as a family

Language is a primary component to communication and for deaf individuals, sign language becomes their first language. Taking the time to learn sign language as a family helps to create a sense of communicative unity at home. It is often recommended that extended family learn to sign as well. This becomes the means to establishing strong relationships that can exist and thrive despite a hearing impairment. When a family decides to use sign language as a primary form of communication, there is a cohesive bond that is built around a deaf child. When every member of the family uses sign language at home and together in public, a deaf child doesn’t feel singled out, but becomes part of a strong, supportive group.

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