I think this thread began with that topic. For me, that just meant: communicate with your child at all times. The number one thing: LOVE them with all of your heart, and communicate that love as often as possible. My DD got hearing aids and I introduced beginning signs and talked to her. The result: she began to talk to me and soon we were having conversations with words (and the signs fell by the wayside).
Of all the parents I met through AVT, none seem to be forceful or militant about speech. Simply, we loved our kids and we communicated with them as much as possible. We were all hearing...I didn't know any deaf parents at the time...so we just spoke OUR language and hoped our children would understand. Of the people I know, their children DID understand...but if they hadn't, I think all of the people I know would have tried other options.
I'm just trying to explain the 24/7 thing: if you are hearing and have a child with a hearing loss, naturally you want your child to talk to you...why wouldn't a hearing parent want that, kwim? I can only speak for myself, but it worked for my daughter: she is NOT profoundly deaf, she has a LOT of residual hearing, and she LOVES to talk. So everything was a very natural process for her...not so for everyone, but OUR experience was OUR experience. I talked to her constantly in a loving manner...NEVER EVER making it a tough, forceful, always correcting kind of thing. I am sad for those who endured what seems to be torturous and painful "therapy sessions." For many, it is simply engaging in conversation...most people I know did it like I did...talked to their children with love and kindness.
My daughter(almost 13) and I now have a WONDERFUL relationship and we have awesome communication together. If she didn't become a "talker," I definitely would have developed communication with her in any way possible...the KEY is to communicate. If she couldn't learn "my language" then I would have learned hers. Now, she is interested in learning ASL, and we will learn together. Just another way to communicate with my beautiful daughter: speech, ASL, email, notes and letters, diaries and journals...sharing our thoughts and feelings with each other is the goal. I love being her mother!
BTW: I loved this quote:
Deaf children are people first, deaf second. They have the same socialization and emotional needs as any other child. They need acceptance, and self esteem, and the message that they are valuable, and their value is not dependent upon their ability to superficially appear to be something they are not. They need to develop their identity at an age appropriate time, and not when they are 25 or more years old. Without it, no other form of therapy or assistive devise will make any changes in the lives of these kids. Being able to speak, having a CI, using HA--none of it makes for a happy well adjusted adult when the focus is always on the deafness because then the focus is always on what is missing.
AMEN! The focus always has to be on the person they are, not on "what is missing." That goes for ALL children: love who they are, not who you WANT them to be. It devastates their self-esteem if you only focus on their shortcomings or faults. That doesn't help anyone!
Also, I agree that the social and emotional needs are extremely important. We are making major life changes in order to best meet those needs. They become MORE important during adolescence than they ever were in childhood. Checklist: language, check. literacy, check. learning, check. social/emotional needs, work in progress and hope to check this off soon. The goal: a well-rounded, socially adjusted young adult. I will do whatever I can as a parent to establish the proper environment for this, but it is completely up to her (and her peers) to make it happen. I will provide her the opportunities, but she has to take advantage of them. Wish us well!