What educational placements are there for my deaf or hard of hearing child?
There are diverse educational placements for deaf and hard of hearing children. There are residential schools, charter schools specializing in bilingual/bicultural education, day schools where sign language is used, day schools for deaf children that emphasize spoken language only, and neighborhood schools, some of which have programs for deaf and hard of hearing students. The NAD supports a continuum of alternative placements that will meet the needs of each individual child.
Deaf and hard of hearing children learn best through a visual mode, and having them in environments where they can learn through their sense of vision is very important. The NAD encourages you to learn sign language in order to communicate with your child. Sign language is the easiest and quickest way to establish communication with your child. If sign language is completely new to you, don’t be afraid or overwhelmed. You can learn sign language. Ask your child’s teacher, the state association of the deaf, the state commission for the deaf and hard of hearing, or other sources where you can find sign language classes. Most members of the deaf community are very supportive of parents learning to sign. You can also learn signs from the Internet and books and videos. While you are learning basic signs, you can use them with your child. Your child will pick up the signs from you and use them herself/himself.
Good luck and enjoy your wonderful child!