Needed: one (or more) 7(ish) year old hearing-impaired or Deaf children to accompany Diego on his educational journey.
His teacher is older than his grandmother and she needs some help in the PLAY department… The other students are older too and don’t exactly want to swing and play baseball during recess time. Pray with us for the next group of little ones to join in the learning fun.
Needed: one (or more) 2ish something hearing-impaired or Deaf children to accompany Natalie on her educational journey.
It’s just more fun to learn with a friend and have someone to talk with other than the older people around you.
We truly know that language is best learned in community. We have established an environment that is linguistically rich and visually accessible for our students. Pray with us for the little ones in the area – we hear of some in public schools where they are not linguistically stimulated, where they are developing delays in their linguistic development due to the non-accessibility of a visual stimulus accompanying their language experience. Deaf children learn by SEEing and DOing. Hearing children learn by hearing. English and Spanish are but auditory languages. They do not reach into the brains of a child who has a hearing loss of any significant levels.
And hearing aids don’t FIX things the same way glasses can fix things. My students all have hearing losses into the orange region of the audiogram at this LINK. They do not hear most of the speech sounds without extra help – that means raising my voice, using a hearing aid or other amplification. Most parents don’t take the time to look their hard-of-hearing/Deaf child in the face to have a conversation. So the child misses out on 82.9% (totally off the cuff estimation) of what is said. They are left wondering, guessing, trying to fill in the blanks.
On the other hand, most parents don’t raise a HAND to help their hearing-impaired child:
About 90%of the deaf population has two hearing parents and 88% of those parents do not know sign language. LINK HERE
And so I know there are children experiencing LANGUAGE DEPRIVATION simply because someone told their parents that having an interpreter is the answer. Suppose you don’t know ASL (American Sign Language) and you travel to China and you are given an ASL-Chinese interpreter. How much are you going to learn about China from watching the ASL interpreter?
Exactly what a child who doesn’t KNOW ASL faces when watching someone batting their hands around in first grade. The child MUST be in a place to learn the language so that they can then access the materials of learning. How does one learn a language? Come on, you know. You learned a language. You are reading this. YES! You learned by listening to your world from the time your ears developed (about week 16 of gestation inside your mom) you were learning the language of your world. But a child born deaf missed out on even that opportunity. Of course, some babies are born hearing and then lose the sense through trauma… but alas, without a language, they are left behind.
And so, would you pray for those children who are in this area, on this island? Because we have some lovely little ones here beginning to learn ASL and speaking and communicating in glorious ways… and my heart breaks every time I meet a small child who is SO isolated because the significant forces at work for the child haven’t grasped the idea that LANGUAGE development is IMPERATIVE to life experience and learning.
Thanks for praying. Thanks for your interest.