Raising and Educating a Deaf Child

International experts answer your questions about the choices, controversies, and decisions faced by the parents and educators of deaf and hard-of-hearing children.

Question from Anthony P., New York

My sixteen year old stepson is deaf, and I just caught him masturbating today. I don’t know enough sign language to teach him the birds and bees, and I think it might be harmful for his mom to confront him on his actions. What resources should be used? He goes to a school for the deaf and I am thinking there must be a counselor or teacher well-versed in educating kids in this regard?

Question from Anthony P., New York. Posted April 9, 2010.
Response from Yvette Getch - University of Georgia

First, there should be a counselor at the school for the deaf and may be other personnel as well that could help make sure that your teen is getting all the facts he needs regarding sexual relationships, development etc. That could be your first stop (give a call and ask to speak to the school psychologist).

Here is one of the best resources I know that stays current, it is Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania. They are probably the ticket to getting more information, and very recent information. Go to their site and see what you think. You also might try http://www.raisingdeafkids.org/growingup/sexuality/which is directly aimed at the topic.

If you need more information, let us know, and I’ll try and get it for you.