My beautiful 10 week old daughter was diagnosed as profoundly deaf at 7 weeks old. We have just started the process for hearing aid trials and then will move onto cochlear implants before she is 1.
My question is about milestones like smiling and cooing… will she still do these? She is now 10 weeks but has not responsively smiled or cooed at all…she makes great eye contact but nothing else seems to register. We still talk to her and smile, sometimes obsessively, and nothing. is this normal behaviour for deaf children?
Please don’t worry too early in the game! You are a parent to a lovely baby first, a deaf baby second. Have a look at NDCS’ website for a copy of their booklet, Communicating with your deaf child, and their online ‘Parent Place’ where you’ll find some useful discussion.
Below is an extract from the booklet which should give you some reassurance about her language development:
I’d love to see research on deaf children of deaf parents who are thriving and find out what it is the deaf parents are doing right. Some deaf children of hearing parents have also had success and I suspect they may be taking the same approach, i.e. lots of talking, some signing (or gestures, if the parents don’t sign) and lots of clear explanations as to why things happen. Keeping your baby with you – and involving them in as much as you can of what is happening – will bode well for the future. Do keep a close (but not obsessive) eye on your child’s development, all the while keeping your cool – and good luck.