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Will my deaf child meet her milestones?

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?

Deafauntie says:

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:

deaf developmental milestones

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.

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4 responses to “Will my deaf child meet her milestones?

  1. I’m a deaf mum and I have 2 daughters, both profoundly deaf. My eldest is 3 and half. She is a very smart little girl, knows numbers 1 – 10, she can even write the numbers. She is starting to write her own name. I communicate with my girls through bsl. (British sign language) Using sign language opens up a world of communication for kids. And they pick it up very easily. I would advise you to use signs and your little girl will most likely start communicating before the age of 1. 🙂

    I’m happy to help if you need advice or even a chat.

  2. Eye Contact is very important part of communications for the Deaf. So your child is aboslutely fine! Yes keep talking and being expressive, and most important be “normal”. It takes time but eventually your child will make connections and expand into a fully rounded sane child as we all hope they will be!

    Myself . I did not gain any language until I was four. That was more to do with the fact that no one realised I was deaf until I was four….but it made no difference to my abilities and speech. All good.

    So relax, and enjoy your time with your child. Read books with pictures, smile, and be happy. Do let us know how you are getting on. I am sure we will all still be around to help and advice you with our experience and knowledge! y

    Yes your child can be anything, and do anything he/she wants to do. There is a world of Deaf people out there who have led great lives and great varied careers from all walks of life and it keeps getting better. So your child is very lucky to be born in this decade.

    Good luck and let your child shine and dream of a great future.

  3. Useful to share experiences, all my kids use sign since they were born, I remember Ivy’s first sign ‘milk’ when she was 8 weeks old! Then George was late – about 11mths old his first sign (eat) food, Maisy is 10mths and now has two signs! (bye and duck) they all different people and their development most important to use eye contact, will encourage learning spurts.

  4. I have a granddaughter who is profoundly deaf. Cochlears do not work because she is missing nerves in her ear. She is learning sign language and what she doesn’t know she creates on her own. I am very surprised though of how verbal she is. She talks constantly but it is a language she has created herself. How common is that? Are their any books I can read to better understand and be of support?

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