Hesperian Health Guides

Hesperian Health Guides

Who knows what is best for your child?

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HealthWiki > Helping Children Who Are Deaf > Chapter 7: Choosing and learning a language > Who knows what is best for your child?


Many people have strong opinions about what language to use with deaf children. In many countries, using spoken language (oral communication) with deaf children has been the rule for many years. Sometimes, medical and education professionals tell you that all deaf children can learn to speak. This is not true, even though they may introduce you to a child who is deaf and who speaks perfectly.

Sometimes professionals tell you what they themselves were taught many years ago. They may tell you that you must use spoken language with your child or you are not being responsible. This is not true. You know your child and family situation better than they do.

A woman speaking to another woman who is thinking as her daughter stands beside her.
All children can learn to talk if you spend enough time practicing with them.
But I already spend all the time I can with Marta — and she still does not respond when I speak to her. And my other children and my sick mother need me too.
Maybe sign language would work better...
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