PARA PADRES DE NIÑOS SORDOS
americana enseñando a su hijo)
the most frequent complaints educators hear from their deaf and hard of
hearing students is how they are left out of what is happening around them
in their families. Relationships are confusing, abstractions can only be
guessed at, jokes are a mystery, anger and frustration are on-going and
frightening. Visual communication carries special weight in homes of deaf
and hard of hearing children, and this frequently presents a challenge for
hearing parents, who must shift communication style and pathways. Skilled
mimes show everyone the eloquence of gestures. But sign language is not
gesture, and no one needs the skills of a mime to communicat visually.Here
are some hints:
baby-signs with infants. Even hearing parents with hearing babies are learning
simple signs to communicate with their babies. It is amazing how much these
babies understand and imitate. For deaf and hard of hearing babies, this
is especially important. It is the route to developing American Sign Language,
which, like English, can be used to express almost everything.
background noise. This allows the child to make use of his or her residual
hearing and focus on developing spoken language skills.
talk, talk to your child. Use gestures, facial expressions, sign language,
and spoken words.
your child to books. Picture books are an ideal early introduction. Comfortable
with books from childhood, children are more likely to enjoy written language,
the gateway to the rest of the visual world.
high expectations. Unfortunately, too many people, including teachers and
trained professionals, have been taught to expect no more than third or
fourth grade reading level from deaf students. This undervalues the importance
of the written word and the child's ability.
patience. Deaf and hard of hearing children are bound to require particular
attention. Whatever communication is used in the home requires a different
kind of energy. Parents must stop working, turn to face their child, and
be totally attentive.
the siblings. This means supporting hearing children who require less visually
relatives and significant others the basics of visual communication. Within
the immediate household, children should understand who people are in relation
to them. Babysitters should have communication skills equal to the child
so the child doesn't feel abandoned when parents leave.
yourself. Make sure that your messages have been correctly received.
Repeat. Put in the extra effort.