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 K.B., North Carolina

I have a profoundly deaf kindergarten student and the parents cannot read or write in Spanish or English. The child has average IQ based on our assessments. We are having her annual review IEP in January and need to discuss the resources available to them at our Schools for the Deaf. This family has been negligent once with this child and Department of Social Services took her away, then returned her. We have evidence the neglect is reoccurring. I am just looking for anything in Spanish that perhaps the parents could read to help them understand the needs of this child.

Question from K.B., North Carolina. Posted December 31, 2010.
Response from Marc Marschark - NTID

We have put you in touch with the school for the deaf in your region. Hands & Voices has some useful materials in Spanish, including The Book of Choice. Other Spanish resources can be found on their website (http://www.handsandvoices.org).  Choose RESOURCES and enter SPANISH in the search bar on the main index page. However, if the parents do not read Spanish, these resources will not help much. The A.G. Bell Association for the Deaf (http://www.agbell.org) also offers a variety of resources in Spanish (search their site for “Spanish”).  Your best bet after the school for the deaf would be to contact the Department of Social Services about obtaining the help of an interpreter.

A colleague in Madrid, Maria Quereda Herrera, suggested three possible sources of information. First, at www.mihijosordo.org there is plenty of information (some pages are still under construction but they will be ready very soon) about having a deaf child. She also recommended two books: Ayudar a los niños sordos and Hablando nos entendemos los dos. Una guía para padres sobre cómo ayudar a sus hijos a comunicarse.

The information about the first one is included at www.mihijosordo.org but also, you can downloaded it free through this link: http://www.hesperian.info/assets/Sordos/Sordos_Libro_Completo_2008. The second book is Hablando nos entendemos los dos. Una guía para padres sobre cómo ayudar a sus hijos a comunicarse by Ayala Manolson (2007). The Hanen Centre. It can be found at the following link: http://www.hanen.org/MyHanen/Store/default.aspx