Title: 'Formula for Creating Confident Social Children: Vertical Identity + Horizontal Identity = Whole Child'
Track: 3 - Language Acquisition and Development
Keyword(s): acquisition development social-emotional identity language
Learning Objectives:
  1. Explain vertical and horizontal identities in regards how early language acquisition is positively impacted when parents have access to deaf adults and deaf communities
  2. Discuss the anecdotes of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals who experienced both identities and how deaf children can grow up without undue cognitive load resulting in low self esteem, loneliness, and identity crises.
  3. Identify available resources in the deaf communities and families through healthy discourse to help jointly create a positive identity formula for the whole deaf child's vertical and horizontal identities


Since the inception of EHDI services, more children than ever are being identified as deaf or hard of hearing . In California alone, there are 17,000 children identified with hearing loss. New parents find themselves under tremendous pressure to make a fast decision to beat the closing window of opportunity for language acquisition. Often during the rush of making decisions, important factors are not considered that can have a major impact on the child’s social-emotional well-being during toddlerhood, childhood, and teenhood. This workshop explores ways deaf and hard-of-hearing children can be raised with the assurance of being able to acquire language, to participate in all things we call “humanity” and to have a place where they can develop their vertical identity through their family and horizontal identity through their peers, the deaf community (Andrew Solomon, 2012). Videos of parents' and children's interviews will be shared. Both the vertical and horizontal identities, are important components of the child’s social identities to become a whole human being who enjoys and participates in the full span of humanity. With both identities, the child is less likely to experience undue cognitive load resulting from constant efforts of over-compensating to be understood or included in social settings, expands social opportunities, gains potential to do better at school, develops superior visuospatial cognition, attains higher-order cognition and develops greater mental flexibility. Both the families and the deaf communities can have a healthy discourse about different ways to create a positive formula that includes the whole deaf child’s vertical and horizontal identities.
Presentation: This presentation has not yet been uploaded or the speaker has opted not to make the presentation available online.
Handouts: Handout is not Available
Julie Rems-Smario - Primary Presenter
     Credentials: MA Deaf Education, MS Counseling
     Other Affiliations: 1) National Association of the Deaf, Silver Springs, Maryland 2) California School for the Deaf, Fremont, California
      Julie Rems-Smario, M.A., M.S.: After graduating from California State University, Northridge, Julie joined California School for the Deaf (CSD) as early childhood educator. After receiving her MS in Counseling, Julie joined the first national training held by Abused Deaf Women Advocacy Services and founded DeafHope as the executive director. In 2010, she returned to CSD as an Educational Consultant working with families and school's media. Her work has been recognized with several awards such as CNN Heroes and E-Women Network International Humanitarian Award.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.