Hesperian Health Guides

Resources that can help

Every day 20,000 people visit the HealthWiki for lifesaving health information. A gift of just $5 helps make this possible!

Make a giftMake a gift to support this essential health information people depend on.

HealthWiki > Helping Children Who Are Deaf > Chapter 7: Choosing and learning a language > Resources that can help

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.

A small group of young men and women sit and speak together as their children play close by.
We wish Lili could talk like the rest of the family and go to school with her cousins.
Yan lost his hearing before he learned to talk. So my deaf neighbor taught him sign language. He learned easily, but it took a lot of practice for the rest of the family.
The clinic offered us a free hearing aid, but we don't know if it will help her.
It can be hard to decide what will work best for Lili. I sign and and and and and speak with my son. We don't always understand each other, but we have fun trying!

A woman, 2 men, and a girl signing together.
Mama, now you can sign just like me and Alfredo!
My name
is Esme.
Good! Now both of you repeat after me...

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.