Title

The Language Needs Of Deaf And Hard-Of-Hearing Infants And Children: Information For Spiritual Leaders And Communities

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2011

Published In

Journal Of Religion, Disability And Health

Abstract

Leaders of spiritual communities should support a family welcoming a deaf or hard-of-hearing child in such a way that the entire community offers the child genuine inclusion. The ideal situation for protecting mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being is to raise the child bilingually. The community leader can guide as the community participates in nourishing the child by providing information and suggestions for action. The community needs to understand deafness as primarily a condition of gaining a culture and language rather than sensory loss, so that family and others evolve from grieving the loss of their expectations of what their child's life might be like to looking forward with hope to the unique contributions that child can bring to the world.