Graduate project

Guidelines for non-English-speaking parents of deaf children

The purpose of this paper is to provide a guide to be used by non- English-speaking parents of deaf children who are educated in schools that conduct classes in English, The lack of a set of guidelines for �now English-speaking parents of deaf children is seen by the writer as a major reason for the relatively slow progress of these children in school. Such guidelines should be written and translated into the native language of the parents. As stated previously, the purpose of this project is to create such a set of guidelines and make them available for translation. The literature dealing with the education of parents of deaf children emphasizes the importance of its role in the lives of the parents and their deaf child, The writer was unable to locate any studies specifically relating to French or Italian parents of deaf children; however, several studies suggest that cooperative parent-teacher relations are necessary in fulfilling the needs of the deaf child, Early positive parent-child interaction is the very cornerstone for communication and language development. Parents must assume the responsibilities to meet the needs of their deaf child. Total communication is described and the data results of researchers comparing results of early manual communication with oral preschool education reported more positive gains by the children who used manual communication. Some researchers have indicated that the earlier the child learns total communication, rather than oral communication, alone, the higher he will achieve educationally psychologically and socially. A final section of this paper deals with the approaches to the problem that non-English speaking parents of the deaf child faces. In the past, non-English speaking parents have been frustrated and they lack many advantages that English speaking parents have such as: 1. Materials on deafness printed in English. 2. Sign Language classes in English. 3. Parent education/counseling in English. 4. Parent/teacher meetings in English. A parent education program and a parent/teacher relationship with the deaf child should be offered bilingually to develop parental involvement.