National Association of the Deaf

Information for Parents

For Parents of Newly Identified Deaf or Hard of Hearing Children:

Getting Started

If you are reading this you probably recently have found out your child is deaf or hard of hearing.  The news may have come as a shock – maybe you never met a deaf person before.  Or maybe it came as a relief – perhaps noticed your child wasn’t responding to your voice but were not sure why.  In any case, you are looking for answers and support.  Here are some tips to consider as you gather information and make decisions for your child and family.

Language and communication.  The ability to express and understand language and to be able to communicate is essential to our lives.  It is what makes us human and allows us to learn and grow.  Your child can develop language and communication and reach his/ her potential.  Some families choose to use sign language with their child as well as speak, others choose spoken language only.  Regardless of how you communicate, your child should have as much access to the language as possible.  Pay attention to how s/he responds and whether s/he reaches her language milestones on time.

Speech and language.  Language is a linguistic system of sy