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No matter what language you choose to raise your child with, your choice will probably upset some family members.

Just as you didn't understand the complexities of raising a d/Deaf child before yours was born, family members also don't fully understand the realities of parenting a d/Deaf child, or the d/Deaf experience. At times, this lack of understanding causes
problems within families.

In the video below, Tinsley's mom shares her family's experience; Tinsley's extended family members, who don't know ASL or see Tinsley as Deaf, have caused a lot of contention.

It can be frustrating and hurtful that your hearing family doesn't understand or support using ASL with your child. All of the parents I spoke with said that they didn't know much about deafness before their child was born, and the same is likely true for your hearing family members.

I hope that you can have patience with your family members who don't understand the importance of accessible language. Education is key to understanding different viewpoints, and research shows the connection between language fluency and lifelong achievement.

American Sign Language will improve the lives of everyone in your family.

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