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.A., Belize

I am the adoptive parent of a profoundly deaf child age 7. He Lost his hearing do to meningitis. We live in Belize Central America and have literally no resources available for either educational techniques or medical . He has been tested to the best of the nations ability but it is minimal testing and I feel I would receive a more comprehensive testing in the States. Is there any educational research being done that I could home school my son with that we could join and be part of. Is there any medical testing or research we could be part of. I looking for help I would happily sign him up for any sort of research he qualify for? Please any assistance out there for me!

Question from K.A., Belize. Posted June 1, 2012.
Response from Marc Marschark - NTID

A number of parents have asked about research on homeschooling for deaf children, but there does not appear to be anything published at this time.

Homeschooling is legal in every state in the USA, but we don’t have any information specifically for Central America. So, it is unclear how much the following will be helpful to you in Belize. Nevertheless, there are several websites and organizations that have developed materials for home schooling of deaf and hard-of-hearing children.

http://www.deafhomeschool.com/ is a fairly comprehensive site developed by the mother of the deaf child. She is affiliated with Hands & Voices (http://www.handsandvoices.org) which might have other materials for you.

You can also find some support at Homeschool World, a magazine that also has a website with some specific information about children with special educational needs (http://www.home-school.com/Articles/homeschooling-special-needs-children.html).

Within Belize, you might contact the National Resource Centre for Inclusive Education (http://www.narcie.net/), PO Box 2100, Freetown Road, Belize City, Phone: 223-1150, Fax: 223-6497. In addition, there are four schools for the deaf (Holy Cross Anglican, La Isla Bonita Elementary, Stella Maris, and St. Peter’s Anglican) that may be able to provide you with information.

It is very important that you check with your local Education Department or Bureau. They may have useful materials but, more importantly, they can help you to ensure that your home curriculum is acceptable for legal purposes.