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Welcome to Parents’ Corner

Love and Language are the greatest gifts a parent can give any child. The Nyle DiMarco Foundation believes in the ‘whole child’ approach and ensuring lifelong success in all areas: acquiring language, developing critical thinking skills, gaining academic and social skills, and enhancing social, mental, and emotional health.

With nurturing love and unrestricted access to language(s) from an early age, a child’s potential is limitless.

Love and Language

There are many paths towards acquiring language. The idea that you must choose only one language for your child is a myth. In the United States, the two most common languages that deaf and hard of hearing children use are American Sign Language (ASL) and English.

ASL is a fully realized, naturally evolved language governed by its own unique rules for grammar and syntax and the same semantic and grammatical expressive range as any spoken language. (NAD) (NIDCD). Your child can successfully acquire English through spoken, written, and visual supplemental approaches.

Applying multi-faceted approaches can help your child establish a solid language foundation at an early age.

 

Did you know…

 

Research indicates that the more ASL vocabulary your child knows, the more English vocabulary your child is likely to know (Hermans et al. 2008); (Holzinger & Fellinger 2014).
There is no empirical evidence that learning ASL interferes with a child’s learning to speak. Recent emerging research indicates that the opposite may be true: sign language development may support the acquisition of speech skills.
Early sign language input can compensate for the lack of early auditory input (Davidson, Lillo-Martin, & Pichler, 2014).

 

Early Language Milestones

By age 5, a child’s brain capacity is 90% developed. (Link)

The early years in any child’s life is critical for language development. Your deaf child is no different. From the day your child is born up until the day your child enters Kindergarten, your child’s brain experiences the greatest language acquisition growth. In this period, providing your child with as many opportunities as possible for language development can help your child become Kindergarten-ready.

You can keep track of your child’s early language development by monitoring language milestones.

Learning language at an early age – why is it important?

Information and resources on early language acquisition:

LEAD-K (Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids): http://www.lead-k.org/

Clerc Center: http://www3.gallaudet.edu/clerc-center/our-resources/for-families.html

Visual Language and Visual Learning Center: http://vl2.gallaudet.edu/

American Society for Deaf Children: http://deafchildren.org/

Stories

Full transcript and image description available on YouTube

Meet Lucia and Jon Rogerson, hearing parents of 3-year-old Heath, who is deaf. This is their journey.

“It’s probably the hardest thing we’ve ever done, to learn a new language. But it’s the easiest for him.”

– Lucia Rogerson, on learning American Sign Language with her deaf son, Heath.

Want to see more from the Rogersons? Check out their blog.

What has your Love and Language journey been like? Share your story with us!

 

 
I give Nyle DiMarco Foundation permission to reprint my story on Nyle DiMarco Foundation media channels, including but not limited to the Nyle DiMarco Foundation website and social media channels.*

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References:

Davidson, K., D. Lillo-Martin & D. Chen Pichler (2014). Spoken English language development among native signing children with cochlear implants. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education 19.2, 238–250.

Hassanzadeh, S. (2012). Outcomes of cochlear implantation in deaf children of deaf parents: comparative study. Journal of Laryngology and Otology,126(10), 989.

Hermans, D., H. Knoors, E. Ormel & L. Verhoeven (2008). The relationship between the reading and signing skills of deaf children in bilingual education programs. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education 13.4, 518–530.

Holzinger, D. & J. Fellinger (2014). Sign language and reading comprehension: No automatic transfer. In M. Marschark, G. Tang & H. Knoors (eds.), Bilingualism and bilingual deaf education. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 102–133.