Hesperian Health Guides
Resources that can help
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How children who are deaf or cannot hear well learn a language will depend on the child, the resources available, the families and caregivers, and their communities. But it will be easier for parents and caregivers to help children learn a language if they get support from each other, from community organizations, from schools for the deaf, or from other organizations.
Resources in the community can include:
- a deaf community, deaf clubs, or someone who can teach your child and your family sign language.
- community-based rehabilitation programs, parents' groups, and other community-based groups.
- teachers in local schools, older deaf children, or others who are willing to try to teach your deaf child.
- a school that can teach deaf children.
- books and videos about issues and themes of importance to deaf people, experience of life as a deaf person, and stories about successful deaf people.
- web pages and other Internet resources that you can find using a computer at a library, school, or internet cafe.
Learning to sign will also help your child get to know other people who are deaf. She will learn that deaf people are an important part of the community.
If there are deaf adults in your community, ask them to spend time with your family and to teach you all to sign.
If there are no deaf people in your area, try to contact your country's Association of the Deaf, or a school for deaf children. Try to get books to help you learn to sign. If this is not possible, continue to use local signs and gestures, and create more signs of your own.