top of page

Language Choices 

Development of language is a major milestone in every child's life.

Shortly after your child is diagnosed with hearing loss, you must decide what language will serve as the foundation for your child's success. 
Many doctors and educational specialists may strongly advise you to raise your child orally, using spoken and heard/lipread cues to communicate. 
Since your first language is spoken, you may decide that your family will communicate as it always has, using spoken and heard speech.

However, when a child is born with a hearing loss, they cannot access auditory language passively as effortlessly as their hearing siblings and peers can, no matter how great their assistive technology is.
Regardless of hearing status, children who grow up in homes rich in language have vocabularies of words in the hundreds by the time they are 2. By contrast, deaf children who aren't exposed to ASL often have little to no language at age 2

Every child and every family is different. The best decision for your family in terms of language is unique, just like you are. However, language deprivation remains a big problem for most d/Deaf people. When people don't have a strong language foundation, life is hard. Language difficulties can result in low self-esteem, unemployment or underemployment, and mental health problems, to name a few. 
I hope that you and your family provide your d/Deaf child with language in all its forms: signed, written, spoken, and so on. For most of us, signed language is the easiest and most accessible.

Here are some parents explaining why they explored ASL for their child:

bottom of page