Stephanie Dolence, MA, M.Ed, NAD III, RID-CI
The birth of a deaf child can present an exciting journey into learning a new language and culture for the whole family. Your precious new addition to the family is ready to acquire the complexities of language and take on the world, just in a little different way from your own childhood experience. You may feel excited and hopeful as you focus on your child’s strengths, yet a bit apprehensive at the same time. You want to give your child every opportunity by providing a bilingual-bicultural (Bi-Bi) approach incorporating two languages (American Sign Language and English) and two cultures (Deaf and hearing) from birth.
You are excited about the prospect of early, age- appropriate language development using American Sign Language (ASL) and the research showing that early connections between ASL and English can build literacy and enhance spoken language skills. You understand that a child acquiring language through interaction in an accessible language like ASL is natural and spontaneous compared to more arduous, intentional direct teaching of a less accessible language. Read more