Your child is deaf. What now? You, like many parents to deaf children, silently utter these words or feel like screaming out openly.
Yes, we all would love to be able to easily communicate with our children and see them lead a normal life. However, there is always a chance that your child will be born deaf or will develop complications caused by congenital/hereditary or acquired factors.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), five in every thousand children are born with some form of hearing loss.
Unknown to many people, it is not the lack of hearing that really traumatizes the victims, but the feeling of being rejected or isolated by society. In fact, many have been quoted as saying that they would rather be blind than deaf since they wouldn’t see the dejection or rejection.
What’s more worrying is that we parents contribute to this by not taking the appropriate measures or using the wrong approach.
Common Solutions for Child Deafness
Over the years, several methods have been developed to help in dealing with deafness in children, and the most common are as follows:
- Hearing aids: This device is placed either inside or outside the ears and helps to amplify even minute sounds. It is more affordable than cochlear implants but not very effective, especially when the child has total hearing loss.
- Cochlear implants: A device is surgically implanted inside the ear that uses electrical pulses to stimulate/kindle the auditory nerve and also comes with another piece that is placed on the outer region. However, it is costly (check with your insurance provider), and there is the possibility of side effects due to incisive surgery.
- Assisted listening devices: This device works with cochlear implants and hearing aids and relies on FM technology. It’s not suitable for children who are totally deaf and is usually designed for those with partial hearing.
- Sign Language: This is seen as the most feasible solution for deafness in children and entails the parent or guardian learning sign language. The sessions are conducted by a professional, and the time period taken to become conversant varies from individual to individual.
Why Choose American Sign Language (ASL)?
American Sign Language is one form of sign language and is used the world over. It is based on curricula that have been developed by experts and proven to work for deaf children.
This method is preferred over others such as cochlear implants because it is non-incisive. Chances of the ear getting damaged are low. The cost of ASL is more affordable than a surgical procedure, and there is no need to go for checkups or readjustment.
Many parents have opted for this method because it follows universal standards, meaning that you will also be able to communicate with deaf children other than your child.
You shouldn’t constantly worry about your deaf child or isolate him/her from society. You don’t have to watch your child suffer in silence as she struggles to communicate with people around her.
Also, you shouldn’t seek solutions that may be a bit risky or don’t guarantee tangible results. What you need is learning American Sign Language (ASL). It is more effective and safe and has worked for many people.
Nonetheless, it is not a “miracle” cure and doesn’t work overnight. You need to be patient and ready to sacrifice and invest time and effort in it. Yes, your child is deaf. However, this doesn’t have to affect your communications or make him/her feel less of a person. Learning for ASL not only improves the communication but also the bond between you and your child.