Title: 'Considering the Language Needs of Deaf/Hard of Hearing Children'
Track: 3-Early Intervention and Beyond
Audience: Primary Audience:
Secondary Audience:
Tertiary Audeince:
Keyword(s): language acquisition, early intervention, families
Learning Objectives: 1) to describe the research related to language acquisition in deaf/hard of hearing children 2) to discuss the abilities and needs of deaf/hard of hearing children to develop complete language and self-esteem 3) to explain the value of parent-to-parent support in early intervention through stories by a parent support provider.


The goal of this presentation is to transcend a medical model of what it means to raise a deaf or hard of hearing (d/hh) child, as well as extend and expand conversations and perspectives related to early intervention with families who have d/hh children. This presentation will examine the research related to language acquisition in dhh children, and provide a glimpse into families’ experiences and stories as they are going through the identification process. These insights can assist professionals as they consider the whole child and the importance of their recommendations and perspectives in counseling and providing information to families. We know that families first receive information about the results of hearing screenings from nurses, technicians, and frequently audiologists. By the time families are referred to early intervention programs, they have likely spoken to many professionals with varying degrees of familiarity with deaf or hard of hearing children. This presents a challenge for these professionals to ensure their interactions with families represent a thorough understanding of the specific language needs of dhh children. Deaf and hard of hearing children are visual by nature and no child should have to struggle to acquire language. Most families would rejoice in raising a child who can be a flexible communicators. Using a visual language that is easily accessible and comprehensible to dhh children capitalizes on their visual strengths and affords an opportunity to develop a strong language base. Babies can acquire visual language, regardless of the use of technological advances that provide access to the auditory environment. Strong first language skills, as well as simultaneous acquisition of other languages facilitate the development of critical thinking skills.
Presentation(s): Not Available
Handouts: Not Available
Apryl Chauhan - self
     Credentials: Parent of a Deaf child
      Apryl is the mother of 3 children. Apryl’s journey has brought her full circle. When her daughter was identified with a hearing loss a Parent Links mentor was there to support her family. Apryl is involved with California Hands & Voices, has been a Parent Links Parent Mentor herself, and although her daughter is now a teenager, she continues to mentor other families.