Early Intervention for Deaf Children
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Early Intervention for Deaf Children

A lot of parents have understandable anxieties when they realize their child is deaf. They’re not sure how that changes the game to have a deaf child that they expected to be hearing. I wanted to find a school that could accommodate her but I didn’t know anything about deaf kids and I just came to this school because it was close to my house. The principal came out like, oh my god we have a hearing program here. We have an early intervention program and so we do try to set that up as early as possible because the most critical years of language development are zero to three. And if nobody is signing to a deaf child then they’re not getting language. These kids come to school and they don’t know how to talk. They don’t know sign language. So they are unable to communicate with their mom or dad. A lot of people are apprehensive because they don’t sign themselves but once they see that their student is affectively able to do this thing to communicate I think it is motivating for a lot of parents. And what they also do is they teach the parents. They have a class. The parents can come and learn sign language. So all of a sudden you’ve opened up this barrier where now my child can talk to me. I really love this program and she’s learning so much. She learned the sign language in a couple of months. For me it’s more about helping them figure out how they’re going to interact with the world outside of the classroom when they’re not with their parents all the time. What are you going to do when you get out there? It’s not too early for them to start thinking about that. It is inside a school with children who can hear and so they interact. And it’s good for them to be able to interact because when they go out in the world, of course, they are going to go to a job and it’s not going to be a job that just has deaf and hard of hearing people. Deaf people are great advocates for themselves. They don’t consider themselves to be impaired. They say they’re deaf and there is nothing wrong with being deaf and they have no problem functioning as deaf people. I do work with them to celebrate who they are and to be proud of who they are. I don’t think anything is wrong with them so that’s something that’s really guided me in working with these kids. ( Excellent News ) ( Excellent Schools Detroit ) ( One of Us Films )


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