The Top 10 Ways to Raise a Psychologically Healthy Deaf Child

I really like this list because it offers practical advice that applies to all children — regardless of their level of hearing loss, age, or communication modality.  It is so crucial for parents and professionals to remember that we are dealing with a CHILD who happens to have a hearing loss, and to treat that entire CHILD, not just their audiological, educational, and speech-language issues.

“The Top 10 Ways to Raise a Psychologically Healthy Deaf Child” by Lisa A. Marshall, Ph.D.

10. Educate yourself on issues related to hearing loss. Find someone who will give you unbiased information about all options.

9. Find a communication method that your child will clearly understand. Use that communication method whenever your child is present.

8. Seek support from family, friends, and professionals to deal with your feelings about your child’s hearing loss.

7. Assume your deaf child can do anything a hearing child can do. Help your child learn to be his/her own advocate.

6. Teach your child about your family, values, and culture. Involve your child in all family activities.

5. Look for and praise your child’s strengths, efforts, and positive actions each day.

4. Teach your child about personal safety, body parts, appropriate touching and ways to ask for help.

3. Introduce your family to deaf adults and children who will be positive role models for you and your child. Include your child in social activities.

2. Participate in your child’s education. Ask your child’s teacher for ways to enhance learning at home.

1. Balance firm and consistent rules and consequences with unconditional love, respect, and acceptance.

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