Deafness and Kids
A village school teacher decided to pay a visit to a pupil’s house. Very excited to see him approaching the house, a little boy ran to get a gift to greet him with. He picked up a knife and chopped off a branch of a flowering plant. The mother, who saw the boy from her kitchen window, was furious with the boy for wrecking the plant, and rushed out to reprimand the child. Thechild was completely bewildered at the punishment being meted out by his mother, as all he was doing was welcoming his teacher. This little boy was deaf. He had not been able to yell out an explanation, and the mother had not knowing how to communicate with her child, had not understood.
Misunderstandings like this happen very often in the daily life of a deaf child. Even with a lot of patience and willingness to know more, parents are not able to communicate with their own deaf children, because they do not know how to. No one has explained to them or given them information to understand the complexities of deafness as a disability, so they do not know how to support their children to communicate or develop language. A majority of deaf children grow up isolated within their families, as their emotional and social needs are ignored. Without proper nurturing, these children could grow up to become adults with many unresolved issues, unhappy and insecure.
This section contains articles of relevance to deaf children and their families, and to professionals who work with deaf children. We hope these articles will enthuse readers to contribute to these or other such issues around deafness and young children.