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-   -   *Update* post 43 How to Help Family with Deaf Infant (http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1484212)

Jen's_4 01-22-2013 02:31 PM

*New question* post 49 How to Help Family with Deaf Infant
 
My BIL and SIL just found out today that their 5 month old son is deaf. They said his ear drum is perfect but he can only hear the loudest sound on the hearing test and had a 90% chance of becoming fully deaf.

I want to help them and show love and support but I'm not sure what to do. Any advice?

mibarra 01-22-2013 02:47 PM

Re: How to Help Family with Deaf Infant
 
DD1 is deaf. Are they considering amplification (hearing aids or cochlear implants)? Sounds like his hearing is bad enough he'd qualify for implants, but they don't do those until 12 months. I would start signing immediately to encourage language development. Signing Time videos are amazing. If they decide they want to pursue oral (as opposed to sign) I can give you more info on therapies and programs. Feel free to PM me.

They should also look into Early Intervention service as well. :)

iwiamandaiwi 01-22-2013 02:50 PM

Re: How to Help Family with Deaf Infant
 
maybe you can get them some information on learning ASL so that they can be prepared for their future. I am sure they are in a lot of pain right now and you should be sympathetic to them but maybe you can help point them towards seeing the bigger picture in that their child will still have a wonderfully full life. In fact, with ASL they will be able to communicate with their child earlier than parents with hearing children. Parents with hearing children often teach their littles a few signs because of this. I have taught my toddler some signs and he seems to find great joy in using them and being able to clearly communicate what he is wanting/feeling. There are DVDs they could use and I bet their insurance would cover courses on it so they could learn it before their child needs to and have an easier time.

KLadyBugMama 01-22-2013 03:07 PM

I'm deaf myself and know ASL, and Cued Speech. Im knowledgeable in all communication modes (auditory oral, cued speech, total communication and ASL) and can help your friend pick which I've that will fit in their lifestyle because even myself, a native to that language know it's not for everyone.

Feel free to PM me.

Jen's_4 01-22-2013 09:01 PM

Re: How to Help Family with Deaf Infant
 
Thanks ladies! We did go over tonight and brought them supper. We gave them an ASL book with simple signs and ordered the first of the signing time movies for them. I wish I could get them more but those are expensive!! They seemed to be handling it fairly well, although my guess is that it hasn't totally sunk in yet. We also taught them a few basic signs that we knew so they could start using those with all three of their children.

They are thinking about amplification, right now with hearing aids. They said they don't know if that will work, and if it does it will probably just work for a few years. They are hoping that the amlification will work long enough for him to learn to talk so he will be able to communicate a little bit that way as well as signing. Since the dr. told her that they don't think the amplification will work long they don't know if they want to think about implants.

The next step is some kind of test where they are going to put the baby to sleep and hook up electrodes to him brain to see if his brainwaves register any sounds. Or something.... That's on the 5th--I am hoping everything goes well.

If there's any other ideas for ways that I can help them or help my family communicate with him, please let me know!!

Oh yeah--what is cued speech and total communication? I'm kind of out of my element here.

mibarra 01-22-2013 09:24 PM

They are doing an Auditory Brainstem Response(ABR). It's more accurate. :)

I can tell you with the right intervention and support that implants can do wonders. DD1 was identified late and had other complications. Within a year of implantation she is speaking in full sentences. There is still a long way to go and we continue to use sign as needed as well. I know many have mixed feelings about them, but I would encourage them to keep their options open. The research shows that the earlier implantation (closest to 12 months) with intervention has the best results. If you wait til after age 2 it becomes much less effective. If they are interested in pursuing speech I highly recommend a Moog curriculum program. :)

erin_c_odonnell 01-22-2013 09:30 PM

Re: How to Help Family with Deaf Infant
 
We're a nearly all deaf family and use ASL (American sign). I think the biggest thing is they need to know their child IS normal. He just can't hear. I know it's a huge deal for someone new to this but encourage them to research, research, research. Not just 1 method but all and see what matches their family best. There are soooo many choices- and I will be honest I personally think oral only (cochlear or aids with no signing) is horrible and cheats the child AND the parents (I grew up oral till college). I don't care how many "professionals" tell them if they sign it will mess up their speech. They NEED language much more than speech.

Off that soapbox, I would just recommend to you as family- treat them like a regular kid. Learn signs with him. Play with him just like always. Be supportive (which sounds like you already are ;)

Feel free to pm me too if you or sil has specific questions :hugs:

PurpleDaffodil 01-22-2013 09:55 PM

Re: How to Help Family with Deaf Infant
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by erin_c_odonnell (Post 16193220)
We're a nearly all deaf family and use ASL (American sign). I think the biggest thing is they need to know their child IS normal. He just can't hear. I know it's a huge deal for someone new to this but encourage them to research, research, research. Not just 1 method but all and see what matches their family best. There are soooo many choices- and I will be honest I personally think oral only (cochlear or aids with no signing) is horrible and cheats the child AND the parents (I grew up oral till college). I don't care how many "professionals" tell them if they sign it will mess up their speech. They NEED language much more than speech.

Off that soapbox, I would just recommend to you as family- treat them like a regular kid. Learn signs with him. Play with him just like always. Be supportive (which sounds like you already are ;)

Feel free to pm me too if you or sil has specific questions :hugs:

totally agree:thumbsup: encourage them to look at it as getting to experience a new culture.

Evadiva 01-22-2013 10:08 PM

Re: How to Help Family with Deaf Infant
 
My middle child is deaf... It sounds like you have a lot of good info, but honestly I would say just be there... She will get a lot of info...more than likely she will be up every night googling!!!
She needs to know that she is not alone...
One of the sweetest gifts my sister-in-law gave me was sitting me down and telling me that she was there for me.. That she supported whatever we decided, and that she was going to start by teaching herself and her daughter ASL.
I can't tell you what that meant to me.. No advice, just love.

On a side note, you can rent the signing time and baby signing time from the library. :)

mibarra 01-22-2013 10:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by erin_c_odonnell (Post 16193220)
I know it's a huge deal for someone new to this but encourage them to research, research, research. I don't care how many "professionals" tell them if they sign it will mess up their speech. They NEED language much more than speech.

Off that soapbox, I would just recommend to you as family- treat them like a regular kid. Learn signs with him. Play with him just like always. Be supportive (which sounds like you already are ;)

I definitely agree research! Explore options!

As both a professional AND a parent of a deaf child, I will say I think sign is very useful and will certainly NOT mess up speech. I think many people feel that way because there is such a high level of commitment and extra work involved in the oral approach that they are concerned it could easily be accidently 'sabotaged'. Also technology has changed so much even in the last 10 years that amplification and implants are getting better and better.

Oral vs. Sign can be a really emotionally charged debate for many, and there are arguments both ways. Neither way is "right" and they just have to look at facts and decide what they want for their child. :)


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