Originally Posted by CreatedNat
... are there many ci parents who do both asl and spoken with their kids here?
Hello! I think most, if not all of the parents on this forum who have children with CIs have at some point used or do use sign language in addition to spoken language with their kids, to varying degrees. Attend a CI conference, where you'll be surrounded by kids with CIs, and you can see people signing frequently from across rooms, at the pools, etc. It's more common than not. If your child has only one CI implanted, he or she is still unilaterally deaf, which has its unique characteristics. Even with two CIs, which made an enormous difference with my daughter -- not so much in the sound booth, but in real life -- there are times a child may not wear her CIs, but communication can't stop. I don't see how anyone can argue against having more
opportunities for communication, which adding a language can do. It's really too bad you've encountered that message -- our hospital and CI clinic are active proponents of ASL + spoken English, and our ENT referred me immediately to ASL resources long before CI came up, and they have supported us at every step.
You are so fortunate: you have an enormous step-up knowing ASL already. The biggest obstacle to embarking on an ASL route for most hearing parents is knowing that even if ASL resources are available locally, it will likely be 6-7 years before he or she is fluent in the way that a developing child needs early language -- many worry about raising a child in a home and community without fluent language users, without true immersion opportunities. And we all know that those first 3 years are absolutely critical for language development -- ASL and any spoken language.
We were very lucky in that despite our own limitations with ASL (we knew nothing at the outset), we had access to a unique immersion environment for our child and some learning opportunities for ourselves, as well. Our child's first language was ASL, she has attended a bi-bi school for the deaf for 5 years, she's fluent in ASL and English, and she's a typical CI user -- although implanted a little bit late for ideal language acquisition (1st CI at ~2, a second at ~3), she scores at or above age level relative to hearing peers in verbal language.
Best of luck with whatever paths you take with your little ones!