My daughter is deaf

iowaboy

Member
My wife and I are hearing, but our beautiful and happy 3 month old daughter is deaf. We just found out last week. Neither of us have really any experience with the deaf or sign, certainly not deaf children. We'll be poking around here a bit, I think.
 

KristinaB

Emotional Mess
Premium Member
Welcome to AllDeaf!! :wave:

Love your baby a bunch and soon your can start learning to do baby signs with her. Your local library should have something. Also, you can check the following websites as well:

• ASL • American Sign Language
ASLPro.com Home
Signing Savvy | ASL Sign Language Video Dictionary
Baby Sign Language - Dictionary, Glossary, Pictures, Images of Signs for Free
Baby Sign Language, Video Dictionary of Signs, Video Signing Dictionary
Baby Sign Language

Hope these will provide some insight and help you on your way. Your baby will grow to be a very special person regardless of her hearing problems. You hear from some fantastic people here on AllDeaf, both born deaf and late-deafened. I am late-deafened. We will all wish you good luck and express our hope that you enjoy the journey you are about to embark.
 

deafdyke

Well-Known Member
WELCOME!!!!!!!!! There's a lot of good stuff out there!
First of all, contact the Iowa School for the Deaf. Even if you're not near it, they may be able to direct you to more local services (eg regional programs, some of which are VERY good)
Iowa School for the Deaf
It may also be a good resource later on during elementary or high school. (some kids decide to do the res school route during high school. Also some families move near the deaf school so their kids can be day students) Also many deaf schools offer summer camp programs.
Second of all, get your daughter enrolled in early intervention ASAP. I'm not sure what EI is like in Iowa, but you really need to get her in Dhh specific EI, rather then generic EI for children with cognitive and physical issues. Also initially it's a good idea to go "full toolbox"
Meaning expose her to both ASL and speech. It is hard initially, but that way she'll get exposure to both languages and she can "pick" which tools she wants to use.
Yes, speech is awesome but so is sign. They both have their usefullness and their place.
Contact the Iowa Association of the Deaf
http://www.iowadeaf.com/
Also, an EXCELLENT orgnanization is American Society for Deaf Children:
American Society for Deaf Children

First Year Free
Program for Newly Identified Families

Through the generous sponsorship of an anonymous donor, families of newly identified deaf and hard of hearing children may join ASDC for a year at no cost through First Year Free. First Year Free families receive all the benefits of ASDC membership, including The Endeavor, parent information and referral line, Lending Library, and more. If you are the parent of a newly identified deaf or hard of hearing child and wish to receive information about enrolling in First Year Free, please call ASDC at 800/942-ASDC.
Don't worry about the CI/HA debate. CIs are getting a lot more accepted in the Deaf community.
 

iowaboy

Member
Thanks Dgirl. It looks like Iowa is fairly well represented around here.

And thanks for the links KristinaB & DD. We're kind of in a fog and every bit of insight is useful!
 

Lighthouse77

New Member
Hi from Iowa. There aren't that many of us but we just don't shut up. :)

Ain't that the truth :P

hey, Iowa, Whatever you do, don't ask us if you should choose Oral-only ( Spoken English with NO sign language or any visual tools).... Rather she have CI or not and we will be fine.

Congrat on your beautiful newborn!

If you decide on the CI -- here one of my favorite blog because this mother doesn't let CI stop her from using ASL :http://aslci.blogspot.com/

But your daughter don't need CI to have a well adjusted life. deaf people with ASL are happy the way they are.
 

Juli-terp-to-be

New Member
Welcome to AllDeaf, Iowaboy. There are a small group of us hearing people here as well. I am glad you are taking advantage to all that you can to help your daughter.
 

faire_jour

New Member
I am the hearing parent of a Deaf 6 year old. My daughter is bilingual with ASL as her first language and she uses a CI to listen and speak.

Welcome to the most interesting journey of your life! Learn, listen and pray! The decisions you will have to make are tough, and there is no "one right way" but you will have the opportunity to learn and watch your child grow.
 

Miss-Delectable

New Member
Welcome to AD.
Don't be scared to ask us anything about deafness, education and deaf culture etc.

Just remember this always 'your daughter may be deaf, but she is normal in every ways that counts'.

By the way, it's okay to grieve but get past it soon so you can focus on your family and the baby in question.

Cheers! :)
 

iowaboy

Member
Life is too short for grief. She's so happy and bright eyed, she's certainly not going to grieve. However, I do feel like I've got a thousand different directions I could go with absolutely no clue which of them are worth exploring. Thanks for everyone's comments, I still feel overwhelmed, but I'm gaining a sense of direction.

I need to learn sign. I'm going to start exploring that. I also have had several people mention EI, and Dhh EI. I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I'm going to explore that as well. Her hearing aid trial starts next week. Another audiology visit.

Here we go. Whatever it takes.
 

faire_jour

New Member
Life is too short for grief. She's so happy and bright eyed, she's certainly not going to grieve. However, I do feel like I've got a thousand different directions I could go with absolutely no clue which of them are worth exploring. Thanks for everyone's comments, I still feel overwhelmed, but I'm gaining a sense of direction.

I need to learn sign. I'm going to start exploring that. I also have had several people mention EI, and Dhh EI. I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I'm going to explore that as well. Her hearing aid trial starts next week. Another audiology visit.

Here we go. Whatever it takes.

Early intervention will pair you with trained teachers of the deaf, and they will help you write language goals, to make sure she never falls behind. You are going to get a lot of information about appropriate amplification (whether that is hearing aids or a cochlear implant) and you will have to make decisions about that. You will also need to figure out how much emphasis you wish to place on spoken language. That will help decide the types of therapy and goals you will have with the teacher of the deaf. The TOD, and probably a speech therapist, will start coming to your home and teaching lessons as well. Dependig on where you live, you might be able to get a Deaf mentor as well. They would give you lessons in ASL and Deaf culture.

How much loss did the audiologist say your little one had? Was it mild, moderate, severe or profound?

Do you have any specific questions? Everyone here is more than willing to help!
 

deafdyke

Well-Known Member
By the way, it's okay to grieve but get past it soon so you can focus on your family and the baby in question.
Miss Delectable GOOD point. it takes time to come to terms with stuff like that.
Your daughter may not be able to hear, but in all other ways she's gonna be just a normal kid.
it took me YEARS to come to terms with being dhh.
 

iowaboy

Member
They did the brainwave test under sedation. The max they could go to was 90db for an infant. 90db had no brainwave response at all. In a year they said they could go higher- above 100 and see what happens. I'm not sure where that puts her. Based on these results I guess its unclear whether hearing aides can help? Seemed to be their take home message for us.

Maybe the grief will hit one of these days. Right now I'm just in GO mode.

Thank you for the explanation of EI. Its something I will ask about when we visit the audiology dept next week.
 

faire_jour

New Member
They did the brainwave test under sedation. The max they could go to was 90db for an infant. 90db had no brainwave response at all. In a year they said they could go higher- above 100 and see what happens. I'm not sure where that puts her. Based on these results I guess its unclear whether hearing aides can help? Seemed to be their take home message for us.

Maybe the grief will hit one of these days. Right now I'm just in GO mode.

Thank you for the explanation of EI. Its something I will ask about when we visit the audiology dept next week.

Well, that would be profoundly deaf. Her aides will help some, but it would be unlikely that she would be able to hear and understand speech with the aides. The next thing that will be mentioned, after she receives her aids (and they do all that follow up testing) will be a cochlear implant. It is the generally accepted medical intervention for a profound hearing loss.

You may not greive. I cried once, but then I realized there are much worse things in life! My daughter (and yours, I'm sure!) is smart, healthy, amazing and deaf....and that is fine!
 

deafdyke

Well-Known Member
Her aides will help some, but it would be unlikely that she would be able to hear and understand speech with the aides.
Actually that's a bit inaccurate. Profound can mean anything from hearing 30% of speech words (unaided) on the spondee tests to absolutly NO response (even to enviromental sounds) with aids.
Definitly trial the aids. Don't panic. See if the aids work. You'll still have time for your daughter's listening abilty to develop. I know it may seem like all the docs adn experts make it seem like if a kid isn't aided/implanted optiminly the VERY SECOND they are dx with a hearing loss, they won't be able to acheive in life.
Many of us got our hearing aids as toddlers and we've done fine. The most important thing is Don't Panic.
 
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