Hesperian Health Guides

Hesperian Health Guides

Introductory Material

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HealthWiki > Helping Children Who Are Deaf > Introductory Material


Deafness is a community issue

This book was written primarily for parents and other caregivers of young children who are deaf or cannot hear well. But it is not their task alone to deal with the needs of their children — it is the whole community’s responsibility. Both deaf and hearing people can accept and welcome children who are deaf, and give them the care and attention they deserve. Communities can organize ways for deaf children to learn a language and for everyone to learn to communicate with deaf children. They can begin to address the causes of deafness, and help children who are deaf grow up to be active members of the community.

Making deafness a community issue will help you, your child, and your community.

Around the world, many children lose their hearing because of illness and untreated ear infections. This means that most deafness is preventable. To reduce and prevent deafness, we must change the conditions of poverty that oppress so many people around the world. All communities need basic sanitation, good food, clean water, safe housing, and health care. And everyone benefits from better education and more community participation.

When we reach out to our friends and neighbors, the bonds we create help us build stronger communities and a more just world.

When we make our communities places where deaf children can thrive, we improve life for everyone.

The Early Assistance Series

There are an estimated 150 million children with disabilities in the world. The attention these children receive during their first years of life has a powerful effect on their future development. The Early Assistance Series includes several books on how to assist children from birth to 5 years old who have disabilities. These books can help by giving the people closest to a child with a disability — parents, family members, friends, and health workers — an understanding of the disability and how to help a child learn and grow using simple and appropriate developmental activities. This material has been developed with the participation of communities all over the world so that it will be useful and applicable across many cultures. These books explain how to:

  • assess the extent of a child’s disability.
  • stimulate a child’s development with learning activities.
  • understand what causes disability, and how to treat and prevent it.
  • cope with the challenges of raising a child with a disability.
  • work with other community members to improve care for children with disabilities, and help these children become an active part of the community.

Each book is written in simple language with many illustrations.

Topics the series may address include: helping children who have emotional and behavioral problems, helping children affected by HIV/AIDS, and helping children affected by war and violence.

Books currently available in the series are: Helping Children Who Are Blind and Helping Children Who Are Deaf

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Hesperian Health Guides
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