Hearing Parents with Deaf Children

Having a child is exciting! There are so many things to consider and so many things to plan for. When you find out you are having a child you think about everything from names to nurseries. You plan to raise your child with love and support and only want what is best for them.

Hearing parents who have a child with hearing loss are often bombarded with information about what they should do for their child. They will receive information from medical professionals such as a Pediatrician, Audiologist, Speech Language Pathologist, ENT, etc. as well as information about American Sign Language (ASL), Deaf culture, schools for the Deaf, etc. It can be quite overwhelming.

When parents are planning to have a child, they often picture them in their own image, meaning they picture a child with their same abilities. If a parent can play piano, they can picture their own child playing the piano. If a parent is athletic, they picture their child be involved with sports. When you have a child, who is born with a hearing loss and you have no experience or education about hearing loss, it can seem like your world has stopped.

You May Find Yourself Asking Some Of The Following Questions:

How will my child be able to express themselves?

Will my child be safe in a hearing world?

Should my child get hearing aids? A cochlear implant?

Will my child be able to speak?

Will teaching my child sign language cause them to be delayed with English?

How will I communicate with my child if they are fluent in ASL and I am not?

All of these questions are a normal part of the process of finding out you have a child with a hearing loss.

When a child, or anyone for that matter, learns ASL it allows them to have access to language. The most important thing, regardless of what other choices you make regarding medical devices, procedures, schooling, etc. is to make sure your child has access to language as soon as possible. Language deprivation is a serious matter. When a child is deprived of language their brain is not able to develop in the same way as a child who has access to language.

Also, remember that you are the parent(s). This is your child. Follow your gut and do what is best for you and your family. See the resources below for ways to support your child.

Resources To Learn More: