Parents of deaf children must navigate sounds, signs and choices early

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    Oct. 12, 2011 7:04 a.m.

    If the child has a cochlear implant, the parents should be focusing on teaching their child to use the device with LSL, otherwise they should not have subjected him to an invasive surgery. As a parent of a deaf 3 year old, I can guarantee that knowing ASL will not help to sooth your child in the middle of the night. However, teaching the child to understand and speak English correctly will be far more effective in helping the child to navigate the hearing world by integrating into a "normal" classroom, going to college, and getting a job. ASL is a beautiful language creative by heroic people, but if the parents chose to implant their child, they already chose LSL and they should dedicate their efforts to helping their child in this way. Frankly, it is somewhat irresponsible of the reporter to hold these parents as an example of what parents of deaf children should do as these parents are not good examples.

  • azgal Buckeye, AZ
    Oct. 8, 2011 11:44 a.m.

    As a Deaf parent of a Deaf child, I question whether it is truly ineffective to teach both languages???? What about all those studies of bilingual children?? Those bilingual children are NOT worse off for growing up with both languages. It is true that initially they may be a little delayed (a few months compared to other babies/toddlers) but once they are school aged, they are far above the language capabilities of their peers (not to mention other advantages).

    I do believe that EVERY deaf child who has difficulty hearing with or without hearing aids/implants has the RIGHT to a fully accessible language, sign language. But if the family wants the child to develop their speaking abilities as well, why not?

    My personal experience: I can speak pretty clearly and was kinda cocky about it in school. But then I realized that speaking is not wonderful by itself. I can speak to people and they understand me, thinking I understand them the same. NOT SO! It became one way communication - LOUSY! So now, I prefer to sign or write, so that I can also understand.

    You can learn to sign, they can't learn to hear.

  • danaslc Kearns, UT
    Oct. 8, 2011 7:39 a.m.

    As a child of a deaf parent, I could not imagine how life would have been growing up without sign language being used in my home. It is a beautiful language and is a quick tool to communicate when other means may fail. These parents are smart by keeping all forms of communication that can be used in place. This family will be the better for it and above all else, so will there son.

  • DEW Sandy, UT
    Oct. 8, 2011 6:35 a.m.

    I have usher's syndrome and if my vision were normal, I would go with cloclyia implant at very early age before reaching my 1st year. I want to be with normal hearing people for the rest of my life. People have look at me as being different - fun? Why have to go through all those government paper work example School Resource Center and Vocational Rehabilitation or worse Socail Security (when it will dry up)? It is a good possiblity I will go with Cloclyia Implant if I do go completly blind. Why let this kid or many others kids suffer as same with their parents? Sign language is fun and he can or you can become a translator (if you like to). Good luck.