Raising and Educating a Deaf Child

Raising and Educating a Deaf Child

Raising and Educating a Deaf Child

Raising and Educating a Deaf Child

Synopsis

Over 90% of all deaf children are born to hearing parents. For most of these mothers and fathers, their own child is the first deaf person they have ever met. Raising a child who can hear is a challenging and difficult task, but raising a deaf child can seem like an overwhelming responsibility, especially with the mass of conflicting information and advice offered by professionals and well-meaning friends and family members. In Raising and Educating a Deaf Child, Marc Marschark offers parents and teachers a readable and comprehensive summary including everything a parent would want to know about growing up deaf. Parents of a deaf child, like the parents of any child, want to know the answers to some apparently straightforward questions, such as "What kind of school will provide my child with the best education?" "What language experience is best for my child, sign or speech?" "Will my child be able to get a good job?" Marschark addresses these questions and more, with topics ranging from what it means to be deaf and the uniqueness of Deaf culture to the medical causes of early hearing loss, from technological aids for the deaf such as TTYs and cochlear implants to the educational and social opportunities available to deaf children. He describes the many ways that the environment of home and school can influence a deaf child's chances for success in both academic and social circles. Above all, he emphasizes the need for early detection of hearing loss and the importance of being able to communicate with deaf children from a very early age, recommending that all parents of deaf children learn sign language and use it often. This is not a "how to" book or one with all the "right" answers for raising a deaf child. This is a guide through the many conflicting suggestions and programs for raising deaf children, as well as the likely implications of taking one direction or the other. A leading researcher himself, Marschark makes sense of the most current educational and scientific literature, including his own recent research, and talks to deaf children, their parents, and deaf adults about what is important to them. The result is a readable and enlightening survey of what we know about the language, social, and intellectual development of deaf children, and what educational and practical issues face them and their families. Parents of deaf children can and should make their own decisions, based on what is right for their family and for their child. Armed with Raising and Educating a Deaf Child, parents will have access to the bets information available, allowing them to make informed decisions for their child.
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