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To Speak or Not To Speak

Powerful Essays
To Speak or Not To Speak

Imagine, you have just given birth to your first child. Emotions of happiness, love, and excitement surround you and your partner as you adore the newborn baby lying in your arms. You are so relieved that the labor went smoothly and to know that your baby was born completely normal, or so the doctors say. However, a couple years later, you are having premonitions that your child is not developing normally. He is not responding to your voice, nor does he react to loud noises, crashing and banging sounds, sirens, etc.

In addition, it is clearly apparent that he is not developing language. After meeting with the pediatrician, you are faced with the harsh reality that your son is deaf. Now what are you going to do? Parents of deaf children have many options to work with the child’s deafness; the two most common approaches being the oral approach and the manual approach (ASL). Choosing which approach is a highly controversial issue. Utilizing the oral method of communication (oralism) is an efficient way to help bridge the communication gap between the deaf and hearing worlds.

When they first learn that their child is deaf, parents, especially those who are hearing, go through a typical mourning process. This process includes shock, denial, grief, confusion, devastation, and recognition of the problem. Progressing through each of these reactions and acknowledging them is important before the parents can accept the situation and take action to be come involved in early intervention work with their child (Ling, 6). Daniel Ling states that the most powerful intervention is that the parents learn to effectively interact with their child who has special needs. The parents are with the child all day and all n...

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...t the process is long. They should expect miracles, but not right away. It takes time. Total dedication from teachers, parents, and most importantly, the child, is crucial for maximizing the child’s ability to communicate with the hearing world. Again, the method of communication to choose is the most important and difficult decision the parents of a deaf child will have to make. These parents need to follow what they believe in their hearts, what they believe is right, and disregard what others may think or feel is right. This child is their own, so they need to do what is best for them. Parents of deaf children must remember that there will always be opposing views pertaining to the oral vs. manual method debate and that people will not always agree with them or support them 100%, but they need to stand firm on one decision and believe in that decision, regardless.
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