Video Transcript: My baby is deaf. Now what?

NYLE DiMARCO: Hello I’m Nyle DiMarco. I have a message for parents out there with deaf infants. Many of you have found out that your child is deaf and it can be emotionally heartbreaking. That deaf child might be the first deaf person you ever met in your entire life. It’s not easy, but I want you to know that there are a whole host of options that support your child and their early language acquisition.

You can learn and teach your child American Sign Language. ASL in itself is a full language. It has its own grammatical structure and foundation, rules and American Sign Language is on par with any spoken language. You can support your child’s English language development through speech training, cued-speech, signed exact english or pidgin sign language. There are a lot of different options.

And there are a lot of tools that support your child and their development of language. your child and their development of language. You can use iPads, tablets which has visual bilingual stories on them. tablets which has visual bilingual stories on them. Family American Sign Language class, hearing aids, . cochlear implants. The best part is you don't have to pick just one to match your child’s needs. We encourage you to look at all available options. Try one or more to match your child and their early language development needs. We are including information and resources on our website for you to get started.

Growing up I had immediate access to language input. That is the main reason for my success today. Most important of all don't lose hope. Don't change your expectations for your deaf child. There are historically so many people for your child to look up to and become; a doctor, a lawyer, a scientist, an app developer or become a model and actor and maybe a winner of Dancing With The Stars. Your child will grow up and be able to tell you “I love you”.

Really the main point is that this is a beautiful journey. You will meet so many supportive and beautiful people. You will learn a lot of new things. And yes you will have your challenges but you and your child will overcome them. We are thrilled for you and your family. We wish you the best and remember we’re behind you all the way.

More info: Nyle DiMarco Foundation

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