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The NAD and the deaf community LOVES parents and family members with deaf and hard of hearing children. In this video, parents share their experience and advice about giving their child the gift of love. #giftoflove #giftoflanguage

Explore: www.nad.org/gift-of-language.

VIDEO DESC & TRANSCRIPT: Montage video of different people talking towards the camera but facing someone out of frame. The NAD logo appears on bottom right corner as a watermark.

PARENT #1: Harrison was a hearing child, and got sick and lost his hearing. But, I can remember thinking what’s going to happen? How are we going to cope with this? But as it turns out, everything is fine. We took sign language classes, and we got to know the people at his new school, and he really picked up on sign. He’s fluent in ASL. I know of only one story, but I know it’s been a good road, that I’m glad that I’ve learned ASL. Even though he can’t hear, there’s nothing that he can’t explain to me that I don’t understand.

PARENT #2: What advice do I have? Well, I think one of the things you need to realize is that it’s a process – you grieve the loss of your child’s hearing. It sounds silly, but it’s true. It takes time to get used to the idea that your child’s life is not going to be exactly like yours was growing up. Things will be different and different’s okay. It might not be what you thought you signed up for, but you can do it. And, I think one of the things I would encourage folks to do is to, please, please, please learn ASL. Take the opportunity to learn how to communicate with your child. I’ve seen too many examples of families where parents have chosen not to communicate with their children. It sounds so silly, but it’s true. It’s sad.

PARENT #3: Both programs provided quite a bit of support for my family through many different resources: a shared reading program where a deaf person came to our home and taught me how to read to deaf children because even though I could sign, I didn’t know how to read children’s books to children, deaf children. They provided ASL instruction for the other family members, and my au pair who was working with us. They had a parent-infant program, where I actually went and interacted with other parents, and got support in that way and learned from deaf adults how to interact in different situations with my daughter. I know that hearing parents of deaf children have a lot of concerns about having a deaf child and what’s going to happen in their future. There are so many things to worry about and questions and concerns about the child’s future. If I just had one phrase or one short moment to explain or to share what my thoughts were about that, I would tell parents that your child will be fine. Just give them everything you can. Expose them to everything you can. Give them all the languages you can, all the love you can, and they’ll be fine.

Video fades to a soft white background with several different font types showing “NAD” very quickly. Copyright video ends with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) logo centered. Blue text below the logo appears, “The National Association of the Deaf / (copyright) 2018 All Rights Reserved / www.nad.org”; a yellow highlight of the URL appears at the end.

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