much of this variability is unpredictable based on current knowledge ( Fryauf-Bertschy, Tyler, Kelsay, Gantz, & Woodworth, 1997; Osberger, Robbins, Todd, & Riley, 1994). In short, Maggie's amazing progress in spoken language skills after implantation cannot be called typical. Her progress calls into question, however, suggestions in the cochlear implant literature that use of signing postimplant will interfere with development of auditory and speech skills (e.g., Clark, Cowan, & Dowell, 1997; Geers & Moog, 1994).
This case study provides a picture of a deaf child whose rate of social, cognitive, and linguistic development during the first several years of life is consistent with general expectations for hearing children and deaf children whose parents are deaf. The fact that her parents are hearing and had never signed before she was diagnosed as deaf is a reminder that it is quite possible for hearing parents to competently support the development of young deaf children. The experiences of Maggie's parents demonstrate that families bring many strengths to the raising of their children (deaf or hearing). Interventionists can best support families by identifying and reinforcing those strengths while providing information that they can use when they make decisions for their child.
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