Dear Lipreading Mom,
I am messaging you right now with a very heavy heart. We just found out today that my three-month-old nephew is deaf. The really odd thing is he was here at my house yesterday, and I am the one who discovered something was wrong. I knew something was wrong because of the "sound" he made. Also, the way he held his head. I tried snapping by his ears, and he didn't respond. So I took him out to our work shop and had my husband start his motorcycle. My nephew never responded. His mom called this morning to his pediatrician's office, and they brought him straight in and started testing. They are setting him up with someone who is going to start teaching him sign language right away. Now we need to learn. Any suggestions on computer or online programs? Any other direction you could give would be so appreciated.
An Awesome Aunt
Dear Awesome Aunt,
Deafness can be and is a beautiful thing. So please keep a couple of things in mind moving forward:
- You'll want to join consider joining a group called Hands & Voices (www.handsandvoices.org). It is a parent and educator advocacy group for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. There is a Hands & Voices chapter in your state.
- In addition to online sign programs, I encourage you to purchase DVDs to learn sign language. My favorite for children and families is www.SigningTime.com. Another one that you can access via computer: Marlee Signs (actress Marlee Matlin teaches sign (http://MarleeSignsapp.com), and many more are listed here: http://www.healthyhearing.com/content/articles/Technology/Wireless/47829-The-best-apps-for-learning-sign-language.
- If your family decides to develop your nephew's speech skills in his first years, you'll want to consider getting referrals to a speech pathologist to work with him as early as possible.
If my readers come up with other resources, I'll message them to you. God has a wonderful plan for your nephew...He truly does!
Do you have a suggestion for Awesome Aunt? Please comment below.
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Ask Lipreading Mom
Shanna Groves was diagnosed with progressive hearing loss after the birth of her first child. She was 27. Raised in a hearing family, Shanna traces her hearing loss to a genetic loss on the paternal side of her family. She is mom to three young children, a published author, and speaker. Her books are featured at www.ShannaGroves.com. Shanna blogs about being a hard of hearing mom at http://LipreadingMom.com.