ENDEAVOR A Publication for Families and Professionals Committed to Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
What is Positive Mental Health? INSIDE THIS ISSUE: 2013 ASDC Conference Postponed p. 6 Supporting Deaf Students with Autism p. 11 After High School Is Your Child Resilient? p. 35
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American Society for Deaf Children #2047 800 Florida Avenue, NE Washington, D.C. 20002-3695 Fax: (410) 795-0965 Toll-Free Help Line: (800) 942-ASDC (2732) (202) 644-9204 VP firstname.lastname@example.org www.deafchildren.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/ ASDC-American-Society-for-DeafChildren/215538915154965
THE ENDEAVOR STAFF Editor Tami Hossler email@example.com
Managing Editors Anita Farb Publication Services T.S. Writing Services, LLC www.tswriting.com ASDC STAFF Director of Advocacy Cheri Dowling firstname.lastname@example.org © 2013 ASDC. The Endeavor is ASDC’s news magazine published three times a year. Published articles and advertisements are the personal expressions of their authors and do not necessarily represent the views of ASDC. The Endeavor is distributed free of charge to ASDC members.
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A Look Inside EVERY ISSUE ASDC Board
A Note from the Editor
FEATURES 2013 ASDC Conference Postponed to June 2014
Deaf-Autism Program Breaks New Educational Ground in VT
Supporting Deaf Students with Autism After High School
Let Them Play
Create a Positive Outlook for Your Children: Keep Them Connected
We Need YOU! Legislative Advocacy 101
Is Your Child Resilient?
Mistaking a Boot for a Fish: Can Deaf Children Read Minds?
Not Everyone Can Be Number One
How to Praise Your Child
Applying Maslow’s Hierarchy to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children
101 Positive Discipline Techniques
I Was Dylan Quick
Article references are not always published due to space. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request this information.
Going Green! Help save trees and costs by receiving an online version of The Endeavor instead of a hard copy. E-mail your request to email@example.com. 1
ASDC BOARD Executive Council Board of Directors President Jodee Crace, M.A. Indianapolis, IN firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer Timothy Frelich, M.A. Jessup, MD email@example.com
Vice President Avonne Rutowski, M.A. Austin, TX firstname.lastname@example.org
Executive Secretary Vacant
Members at Large Past President Beth Benedict, Ph.D. Germantown, MD beth.benedict@gallaudet. edu Peter Bailey, M.S. Framingham, MA email@example.com Mich Bignell Plainfield, IN firstname.lastname@example.org Jeff Bravin, M.A. West Hartford, CT email@example.com
Rachel Coleman Salt Lake City, UT RachelASDC@gmail.com
Tami Hossler, M.A. Miromar Lakes, FL firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisalee Egbert, Ph.D. Sacramento, CA legbert@saclink. csus.edu
Erin Kane, M.A. Rochester, NY email@example.com
Stefanie Ellis-Gonzales, M.A. Pleasanton, CA firstname.lastname@example.org Robert Hill, M.A., M.Ed., Ed.S. Tucson, AZ email@example.com
Carrie Davenport, Ed.S. Columbus, OH firstname.lastname@example.org 2014 Conference Chair Chris Kaftan The Learning Center email@example.com
Tony Ronco, P.Eng. La Mesa, CA firstname.lastname@example.org Council on Education of the Deaf Representatives Serving on the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing Beth Benedict, JCIH Chair Jodee Crace
2015 Conference Chair Deb Skjeveland Indiana School for the Deaf email@example.com
A Note from the Editor Spring and summer are herself and relates to the my favorite seasons. When people around him/her. In my kids were young, spring this issue, you will find a meant soon they would be variety of helpful articles to home for summer breakâ€Ś help parents and educators which meant I needed to identify characteristics of be ready and have activihealthy development that Tami Hossler ties to keep them busy. As attribute to how successthey got older, they began fully a child transitions to plan their own activities. into adulthood. These activities, no matter what age I hope you enjoy this issue. I am they were, always involved socializing always looking for new themes and with friends. articles of interest to families with This issue of The Endeavor focuses Deaf or hard of hearing children. Your on aspects of positive mental health. articles, suggestions, and comments Social and emotional well-being are always welcome. Feel free to contact depends on how a child views himself/ me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Special Thank You
The cover artwork was done by Alexandria Brinkley-Green as a student at the California School for the Deaf in Fremont. She graduated in 2012.
A special thank you goes to John Egbert for his service to ASDC, especially in serving as an ASDC board member. John has retired and is enjoying life in Texas with his family, which includes his grandchildren. 3
Healthy Social-Emotional Living: Yes, You Can! We are in full swing from a solid foundation optimizing successful beginning at birth, which outcomes with our Deaf moves onward to self-actuand hard of hearing chilalization (independence). dren and their family We begin with images members. presented by parents, This issue highlights professionals and sociJodee Crace healthy social and ety on the Deaf or hard of emotional living, somehearing child, how fluency thing I have thoughts about. First, of communication, interaction, idensome questions come to mind: What tity and learning are presented, and constitutes healthy whole child living? finally a sense of pride in being a Deaf How can families provide the neces- person. sary tools in supporting their chilWho molds the child? Who infludren’s social-emotional development? ences the child? Who is the child’s How do environmental and human role model? Who are the child’s peers? interactions influence choices and Are the perceptions based on fear or reactions to experiences? on confidence (celebration) of the From the earliest years of life, child’s identity and being? People are warm and nurturing relationships naturally compelled to react to expewith caring and responsive adults are riences based on their own beliefs, necessary for all parts of children’s thus projecting expectations – be they development, including empathy and cooperation, self-regulation and socialization, language and communication, peer relationships and identity formation. All of these “growing-up years” need full and unconditional access to experiences. Positive, healthy socialemotional living derives 4
nurturing or controlling – onto the child. A self-actualized person, as a result of healthy whole child living, knows himself/herself and his/her beliefs, is comfortable with his/her identity, views learning and experiences as ongoing, is empowered, confident, insightful and independent, is willing to take risks, and has a positive and authentic support system. Once a child feels a connection with a primary caregiver, the child feels safe to explore, experiment, question, and test new limits—all prerequisites for learning and thriving. The elements of a positive journey in social-emotional development requires time, support from others, learning about others’ experiences, awareness
of process, willingness to go within and be introspective, be comfortable in asking questions, having the ability to figure out and solve, letting go of preconceived expectations, accepting the fact that each child is unique and respected, and acknowledging that you are a wonderful human being (the child and the parent). Yes, you can make a difference in a Deaf or hard of hearing child’s healthy whole child living! Enjoy this issue and have a wonderful summer!
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2013 ASDC Conference Postponed to June 2014 email@example.com Parent Information and Referral Line: (800) 942-ASDC (2732) April 15, 2013 The American Society for Deaf Children Board and the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind Conference Planning Team regret that circumstances have led us to postpone our 2013 ASDC Conference. The conference would have been held on June 26-30, 2013 in Tucson. Instead, it will be held June 26-28, 2014, and will be held at The Learning Center for the Deaf in Framingham, Mass. The ASDC board thanks the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind for having offered its school, staff and community for the original conference dates. In the meantime, the planning committee at The Learning Center for the Deaf is already hard at work on the 2014 ASDC Conference. More information will be shared with you in the near future. We are grateful for The Learning Center for the Deafâ€™s work and willingness. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this change may cause.
Most respectfully yours,
The ASDC Board 6
Deaf-Autism Program Breaks New Educational Ground in Vermont By Devon Karn A studious teenager stands in front of a wallsized map of the United States, carefully copying the name of each state from a worksheet onto the brightly colored atlas. Like any high school student, he periodically looks away from his assignment to see what his buddies are up to, flashes a bright smile at a pretty girl, then checks to see if the teacher is watching. She is. With a firm flurry of gestures, she silently coaxes him to finish his work and then get ready for lunch. This easy-going young man is one of seven students enrolled in the nation’s first residential educational programs specifically designed for autistic children who are physically or functionally deaf. This ground-breaking program is part of the Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing’s William Center, which welcomes deaf students with behavioral issues to its historic 200-acre Austine School for the Deaf campus in Brattleboro, Vt. The Deaf-Autism program serves children ages 8-22 who need more intense clinical and educational programming than day schools are able to provide. Using a specialized curriculum designed at VCDHH, masters-level staff specialists assess the needs of each child and
develop individualized education plans and goals. The program was created in 2010 in response to a marked increase in the percentage of students coming to the William Center with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Many of them had come from other residential deaf schools that were not equipped to handle the needs of autistic students, or from autism day programs tailored to children who could hear. “Our population mirrors the rest of the population,” says VCDHH Director Robert Carter. “We’re seeing more kids with autism in all communities, including the deaf.” What makes this program particularly enabling for autistic and deaf students is its integration within the picturesque Austine campus. Recent studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology indicate that deaf students, regardless of their additional disabilities, perform best when being taught directly by an experienced teacher of deaf students. 7
Students not only receive this kind of services for speech and audiology, instruction in the autism-specific class- psychological testing and evaluation, room, but also in mainstream oppor- and medical and health-related care. tunities within the Austine School for “Each student has unique sensory, the Deaf community, where they have academic, social, and emotional needs daily access to a language-rich environ- —they’re all 100% different,” says ment in which all teachers, staff, and program director Ann Shea. “And those students communicate in American needs will change within the day. We’re Sign Language (ASL). constantly re-inventing and re-assessThe Deaf-Autism program itself is ing each child’s sensory diet to find housed in a brand-new facility specifi- what works.” cally created to soothe and support What works for some students is often autistic children. The program has its a far cry from communication methods own classrooms, residential unit, and found in a typical classroom. And in the dedicated staff. Operating 12 months VCDHH Deaf-Autism program, that’s a year, 7 days a week, the program’s just fine. multi-faceted “We had one services are student who designed to went through serve all areas a phase where of a student’s he would life: educaonly write tional, cliniresponses cal, and social. to questions – Ann Shea, Program Director by Students tracing are taught in his finger small classes that are mindful of the through shaving cream,” explains Shea. academic requirements set by each “So we bought cases upon cases of shavchild’s home school district. The class- ing cream.” room environment is bolstered by According to Shea, whose background intensive support from occupational, is a fitting combination of both deaf physical, and speech and language and special education with a master’s therapists, along with technology that degree in autism education, staff flexenhances behavioral interventions and ibility and creativity is key to the communication options. program’s success. Equally important Interspersed with classroom learning, is the 2:1 staff-to-child ratio, which full-time counselors use a variety of provides constant, personal attencounseling and therapeutic approaches tion for each student. That attention that may include individual and group both inside and outside of the classtherapy. Students also have access to room helps kids transition from being the Austine School’s comprehensive high school students to independent
“Each student has unique sensory, academic, social, and emotional needs— they’re all 100% different.”
and interdependent adults later on. Students are welcome to stay until they are 22 years old and utilize the program’s pre-vocational training and job placement services where appropriate. “We look at the whole child to determine what kinds of things that student needs in their own community to be as independent as they possibly can,” says Shea. “That includes helping them recognize when they need help, how to self-manage, how the community works, and how to access parts of it by meeting and greeting people, plus managing social comfort and meaningful family interaction—it’s all part of helping them understand that the world doesn’t revolve around them.” The program’s residential side focuses on improving social interaction, pragmatic language, independent living skills, problem solving, appropriate use of leisure time, and socially appropriate behaviors. There’s also plenty of time for fun. Students travel off campus for seasonal group activities including an adaptive swim and gymnastics program at the local YMCA. They also attend an adaptive ice skating program at the community rink and share in an accessible recreational program during the late spring, summer, and early fall months that includes weekly kayaking, canoeing and adaptive bicycling excursions. During each new activity and throughout the school day, the program uses video modeling to provide opportunities for students on the spectrum to practice, record, and revisit new learn-
ing and social experiences. This allows the students to review the video to practice new social skills, and view the video again to review how to stand patiently in a lunch line or purchase a drink at a store. Spontaneous language emerges from such consistent language
and social experiences like these, while familiarity and social comfort develop from revisited opportunities. Language (meaning the ability for students to share an idea, ask a question, or state a need) is the goal of each of these experiences. The final important component of the Deaf-Autism program is family education, an integral part of helping a child develop and maintain positive relationships with his or her family members. “There is lots of sharing involved with the family,” explains Carter. “We’re in constant contact, providing information, techniques, and updates. It’s important that families don’t feel like they just dropped their child off and lost contact.” Through the year, staff members bring each student home periodically to help bridge a direct connection between school and family life. The program provides ASL counseling, arranges 9
regular family meetings, and provides information on community resources in each student’s hometown. Although the program is in its infancy, Deaf-Autism program has a strong track record of success. Typi– VCDHH Director Robert Carter cally, students who have demonstrated limited progress in other settings demonstrate significant gains in language acquisition and behavior in their first year. The staff is already hearing from families whose children are adjusting better to social and family environments than they had previously, with fewer behavioral issues overall. The two advancements are related, notes Carter. Frustration at not being able to express themselves or hear what’s going on around them often leads deaf autistic children to misbehave. By working with each student to learn how to better communicate needs and preferences with hearing and non-hearing peers and family members, the student is less likely to feel a need to act out. “We see clearly that better access to communication leads to better behavior,” Carter explains. So far all of the students enrolled in the program are physically deaf; however, the curriculum and facilities are also designed to serve kids who are functionally deaf, meaning that they can hear but cannot speak. And while most students currently come from northeastern states, the program is open to pupils from around the country. Patricia Hodgdon, Ph.D., director of the William Center and an Austine School graduate, expects that the Deaf-Autism program will continue to grow as more parents find out about its specialized approach. “We understand students with exceptionalities,” says Hodgdon. “We always have.” Carter agrees. “Our school has a history of evolving to meet the needs of the students who come here,” he says. “That’s been the case since 1904 and continues into this program.”
“...better access to communication leads to better behavior.”
For more information about VCDHH’s Deaf-Autism program, visit vcdhh.org/schools/ deaf-autism-program or call (802) 275-0138.
2013 DeafNation Expo Schedule Sept. 21: Rochester, NY Oct. 12: Pleasanton, CA Oct. 19: Portland, OR Nov. 2: Chicago, IL 10
For more information: www.deafnation.com/expo
Supporting Deaf Students with Autism After High School By Christina Yuknis, Ph.D., and Raschelle Theoharis, Ph.D., Gallaudet University Introduction As youth prepare to leave high school and enter college or the workforce, it is an exciting and stressful time for parents. This is especially true when the youth is deaf and has autism, since high school often provides many supports that may not be available in the community, workplace, or college. This transition to post-secondary life is mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA). Although IDEA requires transition plans for youth with disabilities who are at least 16 years of age, little research has been done on the transition needs of deaf youth, especially deaf youth with autism. This article provides an overview of the transition process and offers tips for helping your child in the transition to adult life. Transition Plans Legally, a transition plan must be a part of the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) beginning the year the youth
turns 16. However, it is recommended that transition planning begin earlier. The purpose of a transition plan is to help prepare youth for adult life and responsibilities, and it should account for the youth’s strengths, needs, preferences, and interests. It is critical that the youth be actively involved in all aspects of the transition plan. Transition plans include a number of services, which are defined as a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability within a results-oriented process, focused on improving the child academic and functional achievement to facilitate the his/ her movement from school to post-school activities (U.S. Department of Education, 2007). There is a wide range of services that may be included. Services that may be considered are academic instruction, related services, community-based experiences, vocational training, and independent living skill development. IEP teams should not only discuss transition plans for the school year, but also consider the summer months. Though the youth may not qualify for Extended School Year servic11
es, there are still many opportunities that Conference could be beneficial and should be unique experiences of deaf Schedule part of the transition discussion. youth and siblings will be
Wednesday Registration and Opening General Tips “Sample Our City” Fun Night! TheFamily tips provided here canFamilies and should will sample menu items fromand be taught and practiced frequently Frederick area restaurants, in different settings to support generlearn about Frederick cultural alization. Practice communicating familiar venues, shop at localwith merchant and unfamiliar people frequently. One of booths, and enjoy activities the greatest areas in which deaf chilsuch as face painting, a petting drenzoo, with games, autism struggle is communiand more.
cation, and this should be a significant through Saturday – part Thursday of the transition plan. “CommuParent Workshops: Three nication and language concerns are fulltodays of concurrent central a number of employment workshops on issues, and transition issues for deaf choices, students” (Theoharis & McKenzie, 2008, p. 98). consequences, and the many Build self-advocacy skills. available resources thatSelf-advocan cacy profoundly skills include expressing needs impact the and development wants, makingofdecisions, having deaf or hard of strategies to gather information, seekhearing children. Professionals ing assistance, and knowing rights and will present in each of the five responsibilities. Without these skills, key areas covering such children have limited educational or diverse topics as family vocational opportunities. For deaf dynamics, cochlear implant youth, it is critical to know their rights effective use, language when it comes to interpreters, and they secondary needdevelopment, to be taught how to request interconditions, education choices, preting services when they need them. community support options Self-advocacy skills are linked to more and access, and school many more. successful post-high outcomes (Wehmeyer & Palmer, 2003). Children’s Program: A Provide opportunitiesthree-day to develop selfcomprehensive determination. Self-determination is program of planned, the ability to make choices, solve probsupervised activities for lems, set goals, and exert authority children and teens ages 0 to 21 over one’s life. Youth with disabilities four age groups. The needinexplicit instruction in weighing informational needs with and autism options, and deaf youth 12
addressed through art, drama, and team building activities; sibling workshops; and games, field trips, and more. Evening Activities: Family oriented activities each evening offer family and social time. On one evening, participants will explore need additional attention Frederick’s sights, shops, on how to communicate those galleries, and parks;choices enjoy to others. Participate the and Deaf community. dinner on theirinown; Deaf youth with autism have signifiexperience living history cant communication and social needs. through Ghost Tours. There are limited opportunities in the hearing Hall: community to meet both of Exhibit Sponsors, these needs. Participating the Deaf businesses related to any ofinthe community gives them a social outlet conference key areas, that offers access to language. educational institutions and
organizations, and local Five Tips forvendors Independent agencies and will Living Independent living skills are aspects display information and of life people do daily and often take for products in the Exhibit Hall. granted. These skills need to be explicitly taughtMSD’s to deaf youth with autism in Museum: Bjorlee order foristhem to bewith successful adults. Museum packed This section will provide historic information and tips to help prepare relating for adulttolife responsibiliartifacts theand school, ties. These cover activiFrederick, thesuggestions Hessian Barties such as managing a household and racks, multiple wars, and participating in recreational activities. more. Develop strategies for managing Sunday – Final money. morning Money management is a skill with which without disabilibreakfast and people Conference ties frequently struggle. Money sense Wrap-Up; airport is an area thatprovided. needs to be covered at transportation home and school in order to encour-
Just remember that the transition process is all about the youth, and he or she must be an active participant in all aspects of the plan. age successful independent living. In addition, deaf children with autism need strategies for monitoring their bank accounts, using ATMs, setting a budget, and paying for items in a store or restaurant, as well as saving money to make a large purchase and managing credit cards. Learn how to locate housing. Finding a place to live is a very daunting task, and it is a complex process. Deaf children with autism need strategies for sifting through listings, making appointments to see apartments, and understanding contracts and leases. Part of locating the perfect place to call home may also include selecting a roommate and establishing boundaries for living together. Take a course in home economics. Home economics is more than just cooking and sewing, although those are important aspects of running a household. Home economics teaches other important household skills such as shopping, nutrition, meal planning, and budgeting. For deaf youth with autism, it is also important to include household safety in the course, such as
turning off the stove, changing batteries in smoke detectors, and locking doors. Develop good hygiene skills. Good hygiene includes brushing teeth, showering, using deodorant, and washing hands. Less obvious hygiene aspects are visiting the dentist and doctor regularly, washing clothes, and using sanitary methods to prepare food. Explore recreation and leisure activities. Having enjoyable activities to do during free time is an important way for people to unwind. Deaf children with autism need to explore and experiment with different types of activities that will encourage socialization in a safe environment. Five Tips for the Workplace For most individuals, work is essential to a fulfilling livelihood, sense of worth and accomplishment, and overall quality of life. However, this is not the case for most individuals with disabilities. Even with the legal mandates, there is still a disproportionate number of students with disabilities that do not exit high school and experience employment that brings them satisfaction and allows them to have meaningful participation in society. Below are tips to encourage Deaf children with autism to take an active role in locating a job, applying, interviewing, and maintaining employment. Set realistic goals for work. Deaf youth with autism need to gain an awareness of themselves and their abilities, interests, and values. They also need to begin developing a realistic understanding 13
of career expectations. Many overestimate or underestimate job requirements and are unable to match their skill sets to employment opportunities. Transition teams need to help individuals set attainable and realistic goals. If, for example, a child wants to become a doctor, but the transition team knows the child does not have ability to go to college, the team may suggest other jobs within a hospital or doctor’s office that would be more attainable (Levinson & Palmer, 2005). Participate in community-based learning while in high school. The transition from high school to the workplace can seem baffling. Community-based learning offers on-the-job training that helps individuals become familiar with the expectations of the work force, how to call in sick, follow directions, and socialize with coworkers. Participating in community-based learning while still in high school means that deaf youth with autism can have the support of his or her IEP team. Use summer months to help develop job skills. Summer is a great opportunity to focus on developing job-readiness skills for youth with disabilities. In addition, there tends to be more varied experiences. It is a time when individuals can explore their interests, strengths, and preferences. Since the regular school year is over, youth have greater flexibility in their schedules and are able to work additional hours. There is typically more time 14
to emphasize and build the skills that the youth will need when entering the workforce. Practice job-seeking. There are many intricate components to finding a job. Deaf youth with autism need to practice searching for jobs, completing applications, and answering interview questions. Each of these areas requires a different set of skills and knowledge. For example, before going on an interview, it is important to have a conversation about how to dress for the event. Once a job has been obtained, youth will also need to know where to find necessary personal information such as photo identification, social security card, and birth certificate. Develop occupational skills. Work environments have their own set of underlying rules, both explicit and implicit, that must be followed. It is important that these rules and customs are clearly reviewed with the deaf student with autism. Several topics to discuss include calling in sick, requesting time off, knowing when to take a break, understanding appropriate topics to discuss,
recognizing professional and social boundaries, attaining the proper dress code for work, and giving and following directions. Five Tips for Success in College For youth who decide to attend college, the transition can be overwhelming. Research indicates youth with disabilities encounter a number of barriers when they enter college. In addition, the drop-out rate for these students is much higher than for youth without disabilities (Wolf, 2006). To ease the transition process and increase the chances of success, follow the tips outlined below. Take a college course while in high school. The transition from high school to college can be a scary one. To help become familiar with how college courses operate, encourage the youth to take a course while in high school. Deaf youth with autism will still have the support of his or her IEP team when trying to navigate things such as registering for courses, understanding the syllabus, studying for exams, joining study groups, advocating for needs, and addressing difficulties with the professor. Take a study skills class while in high school. Learning in college is different from learning in high school. In high school, there is a lot of support from members of the IEP team. In college, students are expected to do much more independently. Having study skills in place will make the academic side of college smoother.
Know the rights of college students. College students with disabilities have different rights and protections than children in K-12 schools. The biggest difference is that IEPs are not a part of the college experience. In fact, IDEA no longer applies when a student leaves high school; students are protected from discrimination by Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act and by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Colleges and universities are required to provide accommodations for students with disabilities, but they do not develop plans or goals for students. Every college or university has a disability support services office, and it is important to connect with them before you arrive for classes. Take advantage of tutoring services. Colleges and universities frequently offer some type of academic or tutoring service for students who need additional support in their courses. Encourage youth to seek out the center, ask about the types of services available, and how get started before the services are needed. Get involved. A significant part of the college experience is social. There are a variety of ways to be involved on a college campus, such as fraternities and sororities, student government, clubs and organizations, and athletics. Encourage youth to explore and participate in activities related to their interests. Conclusion Though little research has been done on the supports deaf youth with 15
autism need to transition from high school into independent living, workplace, and college, the tips mentioned here can support their move into adult life. Just remember that the transition process is all about the youth, and he or she must be an active participant in all aspects of the plan. References
Levinson, E. & Palmer, E. (2005). Preparing students with disabilities for school-to-work transition and post school life. Retrieved from http://www.nasponline.org/resources/ principals/Transition%20Planning%20 WEB.pdf Theoharis, R. & McKenzie, S. (2008). Strengths-based planning for transitioning students with a hearing loss. In N. GriffinShirley, R. Davidson, M. Shaughnessy, E.
Butte is your source for a variety of publications helpful to parents with deaf children. Topics range from sign to English skill building resources. Visit our website to see the scope of our line.
Laman, & D. Lechtenberger, Strength-based planning for transitioning students with sensory impairments. New York: Nova Press. U.S. Department of Education. (2007). Topic: Secondary Transition. Retrieved from http://idea.ed.gov/explore/view/p/,root, dynamic,TopicalBrief,17, Wehmeyer, M. L., & Palmer, S. B. (2003). Adult outcomes for students with cognitive disabilities three years after high school: The impact of self-determination. Education and Training Developmental Disabilities, 38, 131-144. Wolf, L. (2006). College students with ADHD and other hidden disabilities: Outcomes and interventions. Retrieved from http:// onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ j.1749-6632.2001.tb05792.x/abstract
CSUN Students Turn Challenge into App for Deaf and Hard of Hearing The challenge: develop an app that could turn cellphones into emergency alert systems for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. A team of computer science students from California State University, Northridge (CSUN) had only a couple weeks to create the software and were up against teams from the University of Southern California and UCLA. Not only did they meet the challenge, but they also took top honors with an Android app, SS12 Audio Alert System, at the SS12: Code for a Cause competition held at CSUN’s 28th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference in San Diego. The SS12 Audio Alert System is now available for free at Google Play, Google’s app store. “I was just blown away by what they did,” said CSUN computer science professor Adam Kaplan, who served as an impromptu coach for the team of five students, most of whom he met for the first time a few weeks before the event. “It was an incredible piece of work. They put together an app in a very short period of time that not only does what they were asked to do, but does it so well that it’s now available in the app store for free for anyone who needs it.” The SS12 Code for a Cause competition is sponsored by Project Possibil-
ity, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating open source software for persons with disabilities and educating students about accessibility and universal design concepts. For years, Project Possibility organized competitions on individual campuses. Two years ago, they took the competition to the next level, inviting campus winners to face off against each other during a contest held at the CSUN conference, which is internationally known for exploring new ways technology can help persons with disabilities. This year’s teams could choose from nine different projects, including developing an app that could turn mobile devices into emergency alert systems for the deaf and hard of hearing. The app the CSUN team created can correctly interpret audio disturbances such as sirens, smoke alarms, car horns and crying children and translate those sounds into flashing lights, vibrations and texts on a mobile device that can capture the attention of someone who would not be able to hear them. “When I think about what we did, it’s just awesome,” said sophomore 17
Matt Newbill. “Most people don’t think about the needs of persons with disabilities when they’re developing a product. I have to confess, I didn’t before this competition. But now, that will always be in the back of my mind, no matter what I do.” Senior Ismael Gonzalez said the contest was a wonderful opportunity to put into practice the skills he and his teammates have learned in the classroom, while at the same time providing a product people need. “It feels good,” Gonzalez said about the win. “We created something for people who are deaf and hard of hearing who may not hear an alarm or a cry if there’s something wrong, particularly if they happen to be in their offices or some other location where they are alone and an alarm goes off.” Gonzalez and Newbill said the team, which also included Kyeong Hoon Jung, Chris Cederstrom, and Joshua Licudo, didn’t really know each other until they joined for the competition. “But we just clicked,” Newbill said. “We all had a role to play in the development of the app and we worked so well together. It was amazing.” Kaplan said the seamless cohesiveness and calm, confident demeanor of the team caught the attention of the competition’s judges, who included Sina Bahram, a researcher at North Carolina State University and a White House Champion for Change for STEM Equality for Americans with Disabilities; Peter Korn, an accessibility principal with Oracle, the computer technology corporation; and Elle Waters, a senior accessibility strategist with Simply Accessible, which works with businesses to make them and their products more user friendly for persons with disabilities. “Our students did a really nice and elegant presentation,” Kaplan said. “They just blew everybody away with their professionalism, and their app performed beautifully.” Reprinted from csuntoday.csun.edu/csun-leaders/csun-students-turn-challenge-intoapp-to-help-hearing-impaired/.
I Deafinitely Can!
The Endeavor is excited to feature stories of deaf and hard of hearing individuals who test and go above their limits. If you know of someone with a story to tell, e-mail the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline: September 1, 2013 18
Let Them Play
Play is important in social, emotional and cognitive development. It helps children practice regulate emotions in social situations. It builds upon social skills necessary in life to respond and interact with others. Here are a few fun things to keep your kids moving, thinking, and interacting this summer. Many can be adapted to a wide range of ages. Balance beams: Make your own balance beam using two cement blocks and a 2x4 wood plank. For preschool children, this can be placed on the grass. Water balloon piñatas: Hang water balloons from tree branches. The fuller the balloon, the easier to pop. Red Light, Green Light: Children line up facing mom or dad. Green Light: Mom signs or says, “Green light,” or holds up a green sign and the children run towards her. Red Light: Dad signs or says, “Red light,” or holds up a Red sign and they stop. The goal is for all the children to get Mom and Dad. Repeat the process to get them back where they started. Outdoor obstacle course: Create a course for children to run around, hop around, skip around, jump over, and crawl through. This is an easy fun activity for all ages. Use items you have around the house, such as rope, boxes, and crates. Long/short jump: Tape six lines evenly spaced on the floor or outside on the sidewalk. Label them 1 to 6. See how far they can jump. Give them three tries and tally up their score.
Scavenger hunt: Create a list of items appropriate for the age level of the child. This is an example for preschool children: Something green Two leaves A big rock and a small rock Something rough Something round Something man-made Something you think is beautiful A stick A great source for activities is Pinterest (www.pinterest.com). Search using “kid activities” and you’ll find numerous ideas and websites.
of your world in touch
To learn more about all of Sorenson’s ntouch® products visit www.ntouch.com. Copyright © 2013 Sorenson Communications. All rights reserved. ntouch® and respective branding property of Sorenson Communications.
Create a Positive Outlook for Your Children: Keep Them Connected Historically, isolation and lack of communication for deaf people, including children, have created obstacles to a healthy mental and emotional outlook. Fortunately, today’s deaf communication technology can remedy isolation and loneliness, providing an environment of involvement, connection and belonging that can contribute to positive mental health. One of these technologies, video relay services (VRS), has opened the world for deaf children and adults. Using VRS, available at no cost, children can contact deaf or hearing friends or family anytime. The technology is so simple that even very young children can use it. And with recent advancements in computers and mobile devices, children can now communicate from anywhere with anyone. Sorenson Communications, the leading VRS provider, offers a full line of ntouch® communication products that can be used with PC or Mac® computers, Android® mobile devices or iPhones® with front-facing cameras and with an iPad®. Deaf children can make SVRS® or point-to-point calls to deaf or hearing friends to plan social events, order pizza, ask their teachers or friends about homework assignments or just talk. With VRS, they can also stay in touch with their parents when they are on the go or away at school, and enjoy a sense of security and safety while
away from home. Empowering your child with a way to communicate with both deaf and hearing people can create inclusion in the world around them and can help create a healthy outlook on life. Sorenson’s ntouch line of products, including software and apps, are available at no cost to the user, and Sorenson provides professional trainers and customer information representatives who can help with installation and answer customers’ questions. It’s easy to get started. To learn more about how you can ensure your child stays connected with all the people in his or her life, visit www.svrs.com.
How to Donate to ASDC
Make a tax-deductible charitable contribution to ASDC and invest in the future of education for deaf children, strengthening networks among families, and providing a promise of a better future for our children. Donations may be sent to: ASDC #2047 800 Florida Ave., NE Washington, DC 20002 Or donate via PayPal at www.deafchildren.org; click on Donate. 21
We Need YOU!
Legislative Advocacy 101
By Kim Bianco Majeri and Tami Hossler As a Deaf parent and Deaf community member (Kim), and as a hearing parent and Deaf community ally (Tami), we find ourselves more and more involved in legislation every year. This seems to be the trend in today’s times. If we want change to occur, it most often takes place at state and national levels. The Deaf community needs hearing parents and allies who can work with them to ensure that Deaf people’s rights are preserved. At the forefront, are language and educational rights. Deaf schools are being challenged. Mainstream educational programs need support. How can you help? Be very familiar with the educational programs for deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) children in your state. Follow the Early Intervention and Detection (EHDI) program in your state; such programs are known by different names, including Early Steps, First Steps, and Beginnings. Know what they provide and who provides it. 22
These programs are provided with federal and state funding through the Individuals With Disabilities Act (IDEA), Part C funding for ages 0 to 3. Visit DHH educational programs and see in person what they provide. It is not enough to read about them. You must see them firsthand. These include Deaf schools and mainstream programs. Part B funding through IDEA provides for these services for ages 3 to 22 (IDEA). Know the issues. What does your state provide for educating deaf or hard of hearing children? How is your state accountable for the quality of educators and interpreters? How is deaf education monitored? What is working? What is not? Does your state have a Deaf Child’s Educational Bill of Rights? Does your state have a communication plan as part of the Individual Education Plan (IEP)? Has your state recognized American Sign Language, through legislation, as a language? Get involved with your state association affiliated with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), with
NAD, and with the American Society for Deaf Children. Join, donate your time, and support them financially. You have a child who needs you to be connected to these very important associations. Attend their conferences and network with other parents who may offer support and experience. Your state association not only keeps its eye on legislation and advocates on your child’s behalf, but it also hosts many events that your family and child can benefit from. Find out if the state association has an educational advocate. Work with the advocate to identify resources in the state. Work together strategically with your state association, your school’s parent organization, and the Deaf community so that your efforts match their efforts. Get to know your district representatives and senators. Make a trip to your legislators’ offices. Let them know that you have a deaf or hard of hearing child and his/her education is important to you. Build a good relationship with them that is respectful. The better relationship you have with your legislators, the more help they will be to you. Educate them on what the issues are, what your state provides, and what is needed. Ask for their support. Know your state’s legislative process. Each state is somewhat differ-
ent. Each state has a period of time where legislation is proposed, analyzed, and voted upon. These are called “legislative sessions,” and oftentimes one year will be longer than the next. A legislative sponsor is needed for a bill to be developed and filed. This is either a senator or a representative, or both. Cosponsors help build strength for a bill. Once a bill is filed, it is referred to committees in the Senate and House. It must pass its first assigned committee to move on to the next one. It must pass on the floor (full assembly), of the House and Senate before it is signed by the governor to become law. Be a part of the legislative sessions. Track legislation that is being proposed that may influence your child’s education. Go to your state government website and sign up for “Track Legislation.” Work with your state association, parent organization and the Deaf community to ensure everyone knows about the issues, upcoming bills, and 23
what they can do. Set up a good system to communicate with everyone. Set up meetings with legislators during session about bills that you support or oppose. Get the assistance of your district legislators. Set up meetings with the governorâ€™s staff. Attend and testify at committee meetings. Write, call, and e-mail to support or oppose legislation prior to it being voted on. Send thank you letters to legislators who have been supportive of your cause. Prepare for the next session. Summer is a good time to visit your local district senator or representative. Build up that relationship and continue to educate them.
ASDC Referral Hotline
Are you a parent or professional with a question, comment or concern? ASDC has a referral hotline. Our trained staff is available to answer your questions. Just call (800) 942-2732 or (202) 644-9204 VP.
Fuzzy Wuzzy Design Sells Cards, Apparel By Robert Markovic Fuzzy Wuzzy Design is the brainchild of Christian Markovic, who utilized his artistic and creative talent to create a line of greeting cards, youth and adult apparel and messenger bags. At two years old, Markovic became completely deaf. At 13 he began to lose his sight, and by age 20 he was legally blind. At the same time, Markovic developed a neurological disorder that left him mobility-impaired. Markovic was the first deaf graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design, and holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. Finding work after college was virtually impossible, so he decided to start his own busiDay Charter School, Bright ness. Horizons Day Care Centers, Fuzzy Wuzzy Design began in and the United Way Founda2003 with a unique line of greettion. ing cards that Markovic created Markovic works on a and designed. Due to overMacintosh computer using a whelming success, he decided to zoom program that enlarges Christian expand his business into clothhis work 10 times the size Markovic ing and accessories. of his originals. He also uses Markovic’s work has been CCATV, which enables him shown at the Credit Suisse Gallery in to read any information he needs. New York City and the Pierro Gallery in South Orange, N.J. He is also one of Fuzzy Wuzzy Design’s website is at the primary artists at Arts Unbound www.fuzzywuzzydesign.com; Christian in Orange, N.J. Some of Markovic’s Markovic is at artistfuzzy@optionine. corporate customers include Harlem net. 25
NAD Youth Leadership Camp
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) was established in 1880 by deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have their interests represented at the national level. As a nonprofit federation, the NADâ€™s mission is to preserve, protect, and promote the civil, human, and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing Americans. Its advocacy scope is broad, covering the breadth of a lifetime and impacting future generations in the areas of early intervention, education, employment, health care, technology, telecommunications, youth leadership, and more. The NAD Youth Leadership Programs prepare young deaf and hard of hearing Americans to become future leaders and advocates by increasing their selfconfidence, sense of community, and thirst for knowledge. These programs include the Junior National Association of the Deaf (Jr. NAD) chapter network and biennial conferences, the annual NAD Youth Leadership Camp 26
(YLC), the biennial Youth Ambassador Program (YAP), and the biennial College Bowl (CoBo) competition. The Jr. NAD is an organization of, by, and for deaf and hard of hearing youth. The NAD founded Jr. NAD to develop interest and leadership among young deaf students in state associations, schools, and organizations of the deaf and to provide meaningful group activities.Â Deaf and hard of hearing students can participate in Jr. NAD by joining a chapter set up by their school for the deaf or mainstream program. Follow Jr. NAD on Twitter (@JrNAD) and Facebook (Jr. NAD). The NAD Youth Leadership Camp is an annual four-week summer program designed to teach deaf and hard of hearing high school students to become productive advocates. Campers are constantly inspired by their dedicated staff members, who are role models from all over the U.S., and their fellow campers. The camp program fosters communication, leadership skills, and self-confidence, and gives campers tools to achieve their goals. Follow YLC on Facebook (NAD YLC), Twitter (@NADYLC), and Instagram (@ NADYLC).
NAD Youth Ambassadors Program and College Bowl During the 2012 NAD conference last summer, the NAD unveiled a new program: the Youth Ambassador Program (YAP). At the 40th anniversary of the Miss Deaf America Competition, we bid farewell to the pageant for young women. As the last Miss Deaf America Ambassador, Chanel Gleicher continues her duties until the next NAD conference. The YAP will showcase young deaf and hard of hearing female and male Americans who vie to become the organization’s ambassadors. The YAP is a competition for all deaf and hard of hearing youth between the ages of 18 and 30 currently residing in the United States. Contestants will compete against each other through five rounds, prior to and during the NAD Conference. The two selected youth ambassadors will work with the NAD to implement a strategic plan that addresses a social issue identified by the contestants during the competition. Moreover, the ambassadors will represent the NAD at various presentations, workshops, YLC, and other events within the deaf community. Follow YAP on Instagram (@NADYouth) and Twitter (@NADYouthTweets). The NAD College Bowl (CoBo) competition is also held during NAD biennial
national conferences. What could be more fun than cheering for your favorite college team in a battle of knowledge and quick wit? The NAD College Bowl competition is a spirited academic competition that brings together contestants from the top universities serving deaf and hard of hearing students. Teams vie for the coveted silver trophy and scholarships as the audience tries to guess the answers! To learn more about the NAD’s youth programs, visit www.nad.org/youth. 27
Education Advocacy at the NAD By Caroline Jackson Since its establishment in 1880, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) has sought to foster and promote educational excellence in deaf and hard of hearing students. Our students are the future, and we recognize the vital role that education plays in supplementing parents’ efforts to prepare the young members of our community for a lifetime of success. We further recognize the importance of making certain that these students receive access to appropriate educational tools – including sign language – to ensure full linguistic and communication access for deaf and hard of hearing students in all walks of life. As budget cuts threaten the quality of educational services provided to deaf and hard of hearing students, the NAD has dramatically increased its educational advocacy efforts, adopting a multi-pronged approach to address educational challenges. Over the past year, the NAD board has taken several steps to foster direct support for educational advocacy for individual deaf and hard of hearing students, to compile critical research
regarding education and communication for deaf and hard of hearing youth, and to develop a long-term strategy for improving deaf education nationwide. First, NAD headquarters has recently welcomed a new staff attorney, Caroline Jackson, who has received a two-year Skadden Fellowship to advocate for the language and communication needs of deaf and hard of hearing students through Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings and other avenues. Given the limited resources of the NAD, Ms. Jackson’s work will focus on impact cases. Parents and advocates for deaf and hard of hearing students can contact Ms. Jackson for technical assistance and other advocacy support by e-mailing email@example.com or calling (301) 587-1788. Second, the NAD board is creating a nationwide network of trained grassroots educational advocates (EAs) via state associations and national affiliates, devoted to serving the best interests of deaf and hard of hearing youth. Training for the EAs began this past summer at the 2012 NAD Conference in Louisville, Ky., with three days of 29
workshops on early intervention, legislative advocacy, and the current state of deaf education. The NAD provided a camp and daycare for attendees’ children, enabling more parents to participate in this important training. Last December, the NAD and the ASDC agreed to collaborate on establishing an advocacy training program specifically for parents. Third, the NAD board has appointed Tawny Holmes as the designated board member for education issues. In addition to coordinating the EA training program, Holmes has been instrumental in developing a process to create a long-term strategic vision for educational advocacy. She leads the Education Strategy Team, a group of 12 experts in education and early intervention, including parents, teachers, principals, administrators and national advocates, to craft a long-term plan for improving deaf education nationwide. To support this team, the Education Policy Expert Group, one of seven distinct groups within the NAD Public Policy Committee, is assembling empirical research regarding best practices for education and early intervention. These multi-pronged efforts will complement the NAD’s ongoing education advocacy work. The NAD will continue its partnership with the Conference of Educators and Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD) to promote the Child First campaign, which includes a comprehensive bill to amend the Indi30
viduals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as well as support for statelevel efforts to pass Deaf Children’s Bills of Rights. For more information on NAD’s education initiatives, visit www.nad. org/blogs/admin/nad-educationupdate-january-2013. Parents who wish to receive advocacy training in their respective states should contact ASDC director Cheri Dowling with their interest. For assistance in advocating for deaf or hard of hearing children, individuals can contact nad.info@ nad.org or call (301) 587-1788. Caroline Jackson, Esq. is a Skadden Fellow/Staff Attorney at the NAD. She has been involved in the Deaf community since the age of 11. Prior to becoming an attorney, Caroline worked as an ASL interpreter and taught English in the Program for Deaf Adults at LaGuardia Community College.
Visit ASDC’s Website and Facebook Page! www.deafchildren.org www.facebook.com/pages/ ASDC-American-Society-forDeaf-Children/ 215538915154965
ASDC’s new motto: With ASL and English, your child can...
LEARN THRIVE SUCCEED!
Positive Mental Health: A Parent’s Perspective
Is Your Child Resilient?
By Tami Hossler, M.A.
Boy, do I remember the day my husband and I learned our daughter was profoundly deaf. It is ingrained in my mind. Our first response was to fix it. Little did we know that she was just fine; it was us who needed some fixing or better yet, “educating.” Ninety percent of deaf children are born to hearing parents who have little to no knowledge of what it means to be deaf. We definitely fit into that category. How we decided to cope with this new experience would definitely influence our daughter’s emotional well-being and development. My husband and I went into action getting our daughter into early intervention, signing up for sign language classes, and educating ourselves. According to “Mental Health Issues in Deaf Children” by Peter A. Hindley (2005), deaf children are more susceptible to mental health problems than hearing children due to developmental delays caused by language deprivation. Communication challenges are common for hearing parents raising deaf children. Hindley states that parents may have trouble discussing emotions leading to “reduced emotional vocabularies, understanding and recognition of emotions, and capacity to regulate their emotions.” Addition-
ally parents may have trouble with discipline, which could lead to “delays in consequential thinking.” Language development is critical to social, emotional and cognitive development and preventing mental health problems. Preventing language deprivation is key. Today parents have access to early hearing screening and intervention services that provide them with the support and education they need. These services are available in most states. What my husband and I found most helpful over the years was professional support, parent-to-parent support, Deaf mentorship, psychological support, educational support, and a roadmap to providing our daughter language. As our daughter began to grow, her language needed to grow. It became apparent that we needed to surround her with peers and role models who she could relate with and learn from. This wasn’t going to happen solely in our home or in her local school district. This required us to make some hard 35
decisions about her education. Our decision was to move so she could attend a Deaf school. The first six months of school showed us how important a critical mass of peers and language models were to her social, emotional, and cognitive development. She blossomed there in her first year. She became happier and less frustrated. She was learning how to become resilient and so were we.
So what does it mean to be resilient? According to “Positive Mental Health: Resilience,” by David Murphey, Megan Barry, and Brigitte Vaughn: “Researchers have considered a number of dimensions of positive mental health, one of which is ‘resilience.’ Resilience is defined as ‘the ability of an individual to function completely in the face of adversity or stress.’” Becoming resilient requires learning to cope and adjust to different environments and situations. Just as we had to make adjustments when we learned our daughter was deaf, our daughter is constantly making adjustments for us and for society around her. She is resilient. Today our daughter is an adult living a magnificently happy and fulfilling life. That’s all we could ask for.
Fast Facts from Murphey, Barry, and Vaughn 1. In essence, resilience means being able to bounce back from difficult times and cope well with challenges.1 2. Factors that promote resilience among adolescents include having caring relationships with adults, an easygoing disposition, cognitive skills, confidence, and strong internal values.2,3 3. Adolescents who are resilient may be better able to avoid risky behaviors, such as violence, substance use, and adolescent pregnancy, than are other adolescents.4 4. Adolescents who are resilient also find ways to reduce the negative effects of stress on their lives, such as getting regular physical exercise, avoiding substance abuse, and practicing relaxation techniques.5 5. School- or community-based programs can teach problem-solving and social skills that can improve resilience among adolescents.6 36
Mistaking a Boot for a Fish: Can Deaf Children Read Minds? By Todd LaMarr, M.A., and Lisalee Egbert, Ph.D.
While the ability to read minds sounds like a special superpower, it is actually a critical part of our everyday social interactions. For example, how do you feel when someone tells you about a sad or joyous situation? What do you think when you learn that a hearing family has just been informed that their child is Deaf? In these scenarios, we are able to mentally read their minds—how they are feeling and what they are thinking, even though it is not our personal situation (although we may relate). The ability to read minds is also a critical part of Deaf children’s social development. This article discsses their social development, highlighting the importance of mind ‘reading’ and how parents and educators can foster its development. Social Development Most of the focus with Deaf children is on language development, but their social and emotional development is just as important, and is in fact, highly related to their language experience (Corina & Singleton, 2009). The social relationships children share with their family, friends and others influence whether or not they develop a healthy mental sense of self in childhood and guides their ongoing social development through adulthood. Parents find
language development rather easy to measure (word counts, comprehension, etc.), but how do they measure the social development of their Deaf child? And, more importantly, what can they do to make sure their Deaf child develops appropriate social skills? Theory of Mind One way to examine the social development of Deaf children is to assess their ability to read minds, known as having a theory of mind. Theory of mind (ToM) refers to one’s awareness of others’ mental states (what they are thinking, feeling, etc.) and is therefore considered the cornerstone of social intelligence. Do you have a ToM? Look at the picture at right (from Siegal & Varley, 2002). A boy is fishing and caught something but cannot see what it is. What does he think he has hooked? If you answered “a fish,” you are right. Looking at the picture, we know he has hooked a boot, but to know what he thinks he has hooked, we must be able to ‘read’ his mind and understand that his mind might be different than ours. Why is ToM so important for social development? Awareness of others’ 37
mental states such as beliefs and desires enables one to comprehend, sympathize, empathize, and even possibly predict another’s behavior. ToM and Deaf Children While most children acquire ToM between three and five years of age, Deaf children born to hearing parents often show a delay. This delay has been linked to fewer mental state conversations shared between Deaf children and their hearing parents (Lederberg, Schick & Spencer, 2013). In other words, when hearing parents and their Deaf children do not share an accessible language, sharing conversations critical for ToM development is difficult. What can you, as parents and educators do? To reduce and even remove this delay, you can foster specific social environments and engage children in specific language to aid ToM development. Below are a few tips for fostering ToM with Deaf children. Pretend Play Pretend play is important for developing ToM because children must be able to interpret the intention of their playmate and be aware of their mental state. Success at pretending requires a child to separate a real representation from a pretend representation. For example, to use a shoe as a telephone, a child must understand that their play partner has a pretend play mental state and that this pretending is different from a mental state of the shoe as 38
something that belongs on a foot. This sounds simple, but for a child this can be a great mental feat. What can you do? • Play with your child, especially in dramatic or pretend play. • Include play where objects are used differently than their primary use (e.g. a large cardboard box as a rocket ship; a indoor blanket fort as a castle). Language Language is at the core of ToM development (Tomasuolo et al., 2013). Most of the research on ToM has focused on language and how some forms of language may be more beneficial for ToM development than others. The most important form is communication about mental states: feelings, thoughts, intentions and desires. This form of language is important for ToM development because it gives insight into the unobservable minds of other people.
What can you do? • Communicate with your child, especially about mental states. • Share what you think, feel and believe and explain your reasoning. • If you have family rules and restrictions, don’t just enforce them. Explain why you have them and discuss options your child has to not break them. • Use books and movies as a way to talk about others’ thoughts, feelings and beliefs. (Why was the princess crying? How did Nemo feel when he was lost?) Siblings and Peers Children with siblings and children with many friends show an early achievement of ToM. The reason for this is that child-child interactions increase the amount of communication about thoughts and feelings and are very different from adult-child play. Child-child play involves more dramatized pretending, emotional conversations and more disagreements. While disagreements are often considered
negative and parents want to quickly stop them, they can be scenarios for children to learn what another thinks and feels. What can you do? • Provide your child with many social opportunities to interact with other children (join a play/ support group; take your child to the park). • Allow children to safely communicate through disagreements. • Set up play areas for dramatic and pretend play to take place (provide fun props). Technology In our technological world, you may ask what role technology has for ToM. Children who play with virtual pets, such as Nintendogs, may increase certain empathetic abilities related to ToM development (Tsai & Kaufman, 2009). A virtual pet requires a child to understand the pet’s needs, beliefs and desires (i.e. dogs need to be walked and cleaned up after) and therefore aids in the development of an understanding of mental states. Of course, a real pet can be just as effective, if not more. Other technological devices can provide great scenarios for parents to engage children in mental state discussions as well. 39
What can you do? • Use educational games (virtual and non-virtual games) that involve sharing feelings, beliefs and intentions. • When watching TV, ask your child about the characters: How do you think they feel? What do you think will happen next? If that happened to you, what would you do? • If you have a pet (or virtual pet), communicate with your child about the pet’s possible mental states: Why do dogs bark at mail deliverers? How do animals feel when you go to school? The most important information to take from this article is the importance of communication between you and your child. But before you pull out the flash cards to practice vocabulary with them, remember that sharing your mental states (what you feel and think) is extremely important for their social and emotional development. References Corina, D., & Singleton, J. (2009). Developmental social cognitive neuroscience: Insights from deafness. Child Development, 80(4), 952-967. Lederberg, A. R., Schick, B., & Spencer, P. E. (2013). Language and literacy development of deaf and hard of hearing children: Successes and challenges. Developmental Psychology, 49(1), 15-30. doi:10.1037/ a0029558 40
Siegal, M., & Varley, R. (2002). Neural systems involved in ‘theory of mind’. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 3(6), 463471. doi:10.1038/nrn844 Tomasuolo, E., Valeri, G., Di Renzo, A., Pasqualetti, P., & Volterra, V. (2013). Deaf children attending different school environments: Sign language abilities and theory of mind. Journal of Deaf Studies & Deaf Education, 18(1), 12-29. doi:http:// dx.doi.org.proxy.lib.csus.edu/10.1093/ deafed/ens035 Tsai, Y., & Kaufman, D. M. (2009). The socioemotional effects of a computersimulated animal on children’s empathy and humane attitudes. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 41(1), 103-122.
Todd LaMarr holds a master’s degree in child development. He works at the University of California, Davis Cognitive Neurolinguistic Research Lab under Dr. David Corina. Lisalee D. Egbert, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Deaf Studies program at California State University, Sacramento, and an adjunct instructor at Sierra College.
Not Everyone Can Be Number One By Anshu Basnyat, LCPC I cringe every time I hear a parent encourage their child to be number one in something. I have seen parents get very upset because their five-year-old child did not score the winning goal in soccer. I have seen parents encourage their child to be the first one finished when eating with peers. Or how about the child whose parents decide that their five-year-old will be the number one student in his kindergarten class, or those who have decided that their child will be a doctor, an engineer, or scientist when they grow up? The examples go on and on, and they illustrate how we, as parents, program our kids very early to believe that we should settle for nothing less than being number one. It is very true that we live in a very competitive world and we need to prepare our children for it. What makes it worse is that today our world no longer consists only of the people in our microcosm. It literally includes the whole world with the availability of technology and a global market. So, it is very natural for parents to feel anxious about how their child will compete. The problem is that it is risky business when parents put this kind of pressure on their children day in and day out. At first, this kind of pressure doesn’t seem to
be a problem, because when children are very young, they want to please any adult who plays a significant role in their lives. Therefore, young children happily go along with their parents’ plans until they start thinking for themselves. For some, this independent thinking happens early, and for others it doesn’t happen until adulthood. Yet for some, it never happens. This is most worrisome. I see this kind of pressure as risky because the costs are high. One of three outcomes will occur. Outcome one is that both the parents’ and the child’s wishes match and everyone is happy. This result is probably less likely than one would hope. Outcome two is that the child will reject the parents’ wishes and pursue his/her own dreams. Rifts may occur in the family, but ultimately the parents get over it and the child is happy. This is healthy. Outcome three is that the child goes along with his/her parents’ wishes when they do not want to, but they do not communicate this to their parents in fear of disappointing them. This is probably more common than one would think. I know I have observed this quite a bit in my own Nepalese culture where parents are revered and children constantly try to meet their expectations even though they really do not want to. The costs of outcome three can range anywhere from feeling anxious over the 41
smallest things in life to severe depression leading to suicide. A little bit of anxiety can actually be healthy. For instance, getting anxious over an upcoming math test and studying for it is a good thing. However, unhealthy anxiety can have the opposite effect of what parents want for their child. When children feel pressure to excel in order to gain approval, their self-esteem and confidence are compromised. They will constantly compare themselves to others as a way of measuring their self-worth. This is not healthy. A perfectly competent person can do very poorly under this kind of pressure. Over time, this anxiety can lead to depression and take a major hit on their self-worth. Professional help may be necessary at this time. So, what should well-meaning parents do to avoid the risks? The answer is pretty simple, but hard to balance. Parents need to relieve this pressure and instead encourage their child to do their best rather than being the best. I am not suggesting that parents encourage mediocrity, rather that they encourage their child to reach his or her own potential, wherever that may be. When the pressure is lifted, children will be at ease, perform better, and be happier. Less pressure equals better product. Anshu Basnyat, a licensed clinical professional counselor, has a blog at theempoweredparent.blogspot.com.
New Interactive Book Available in ASL and English via iTunes Author Adam Stoneâ€™s new book, Pointy Three, has been released at the iBooks store. This book is interactive in American Sign Language and English. As iTunes describes it, Pointy Three is the story of a fork who is missing one of his prongs, but not his brave spirit. Readers of all ages can follow Pointy Three on his journey through the land of Dinnertime as he meets characters left and right in his search for a place where he belongs. The text is narrated in ASL by Lauren Ridloff, and illustrated by Joyce Hom. The app is available via the iTunes store for $4.99. Read more at www. cultofmac.com/176532/books-with-asl-for-deaf-readers-are-easily-made-withibooks/#52k5sEMHbOhrz6xX.99.
10 Steps to Self-Esteem 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Know yourself. Understand what makes you feel great. Recognize things that get you down. Set goals to achieve what you want. Develop trusting friendships that make you feel good. 6. Donâ€™t be afraid to ask for help. 7. Stand up for your beliefs and values. 8. Help someone else. 9. Take responsibility for your own actions. 10. Take good care of yourself. 43
How to Praise Your Child By Emily Jordan Words are powerful, and can have an impact on a childâ€™s life. Positive statements to children can help guide, inspire, and nurture a positive sense of self-worth. Yet research has shown it is not praise alone that is effective; it is the message being sent and how a child is praised that is most impactful. Messages of praise that are specific and focus on desired actions and behaviors help teach children what they need to do to get successful results in the future. As a social worker, I come from a strengths-based approach and I understand the importance of praise, especially when working with children. When I worked as a case manager with Deaf children with emotional and behavioral difficulties, I used praise regularly as a behavior management/behavior modification tool. Part of my job was working in the home environment to strengthen parent-child relationships and to implement home-based behavior modification. My job required me to work throughout the state. I worked with both Deaf and hearing parents and with families from all different backgrounds. It was during this time 44
that I started to question what messages of praise were being sent to Deaf children; more specifically, to Deaf children from hearing homes where parents were either just learning American Sign Language (ASL), or homes where limited ASL was being used. Although I worked with families from different backgrounds, there were two common themes I saw in the homes of Deaf children with hearing parents. The first was the many barriers that limited hearing parentsâ€™ exposure to the Deaf community and learning ASL. This was notably apparent in small towns, economically disadvantaged areas, and rural areas. The second was when hearing parents did learn small amounts of ASL, there seemed to be a focus on necessity, which ultimately resulted in a focus on negative statements such as stop, no, or bad. Initially this makes sense, since parents are obviously focused on the safety of their child and want to be able to tell the child not to run into the street or not to touch a hot stove. Yet, what about communication focused on praising a child and teaching desired behavior? How were these Deaf children being motivated, inspired, and
developing positive self-worth when communication was limited to what they should not do and praise was limited to smiles and thumbs ups? All that pondering led to the question of, “What can I do to address the issue?” I wanted to find a way to help parents learn ASL even when facing barriers such as not having access to the Deaf community, the Internet, or ASL classes. More importantly, I wanted to shift the focus from signs of necessity to learning positive signs and ways to praise their child in ASL. I needed something beyond just weekly or biweekly visits. I needed something more concrete. Something parents could refer to routinely. I needed a video! I saw those magnets and posters everywhere about “101 Ways to Praise Your Child.” That was the start of a dream that would take several years to fulfill. It wasn’t until I changed jobs and started working at the Ohio School for
the Deaf that I finally saw the opportunity for my dream to take shape. Working collaboratively with the Center for Outreach Services, we developed a video, Ways to Praise Your Child in ASL. The Center for Outreach Services took my dream further than I ever imagined. The video had a native Deaf signer demonstrating simple phrases such as wonderful and cool to more complex phrases such as I’m proud of you, and Wow, you worked hard on that. At the start of the 2008-2009 school year, we debuted the video for parents, who took a copy of the video home. It was a dream come true to make this approach accessible to both hearing and Deaf parents. More importantly, we made it applicable for our Deaf students. With the technology we have today this project can grow even more, and I plan to work on that. Emily Jordan is a mental health counselor at the Ohio School for the Deaf.
Bilingualism Rocks! Biliteracy (American Sign Language/English) Disney Books are available at www.mysignbee. com. The website also has over 2,000 American Sign Language video clips and over 450 Disney/ Pixar Animation clips with readalong audio and open captions. 45
Applying Maslow’s Hierarchy to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children: The Importance of Language in Achieving Self-Actualization By Laura T. Petersen and Julie Rems-Smario
Attributes of Self-Actualized Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals • Achieves full intellectual and social-emotional potential • Asks for and uses assistance where and when necessary • Is self-reliant • Has effective interpersonal relationship and social skills • Places auditory-oral ability in perspective • Compensates for society’s devaluing attitudes • Has a positive self-concept as a DHH person • Influences their own world through language. (Sussman, 2000) 46
Did You Know?
Profoundly Deaf students who used sign language at home and identified with the Deaf community had higher self-esteem than those with less severe hearing status who identified with the hearing world (Jambor & Elliott, 2005). Signing skills are the best predictors of strong English reading skills (Hoffmesister, 2000; Padden & Ramsey, 2000, Strong & Prinz, 2000). There is a positive relationship between ASL competency and English skills; highly competent signers scored higher on a measure of reading comprehension (Freel et al., 2011). Signs replace phonetics for signing children in learning to read words. (Kubus et al., 2010; Morford et al., 2011). Deaf and hard of hearing children in language-rich classrooms and supportive homes acquire the same literacy as hearing children. (Ewoldt, 1985; Padden & Ramsey, 1993; Rottenberg, 2001; Rottenberg & Searfoss 1992, 1993).
At the California School for the Deaf in Fremont, Julie Rems-Smario is a community educational consultant, and Laura T. Petersen is an early intervention educational consultant.
“My wish is that being deaf will be celebrated as an identity, rather than a disability. That ASL is recognized as a birthright, rather than a communication option. That professionals will offer opportunities, rather than options. That families will embrace their deaf child rather than deny who s/he is.” —Stefanie Ellis-Gonzales, ASDC board member and the mother of three deaf children 47
101 Positive Discipline Techniques By Elizabeth O. Cooper The scene plays out daily in grocery stores, restaurants, doctors’ offices and other public venues. A child acts up and refuses to obey his parent’s admonition to behave. Finally, the frustrated and embarrassed parent literally takes the situation into his own hands by delivering a swift smack to the child’s bottom. That reaction causes more problems than it solves, according to Katharine C. Kersey, University Professor of early childhood education and chair of the Department of Early Childhood, Speech-Language Pathology and Special Education. The author of several books, including The Art of Sensitive Parenting, Helping Your Child Handle Stress and Don’t Take It Out On Your Kids, and co-author of The First Year Teacher, Kersey is a long-time opponent of spanking and other forms of corporal punishment. She believes that parents would like to find better ways to teach children cooperation but don’t know what to do, so they resort to spanking. “Spanking interrupts the learning process,” asserts Kersey, a 2005 recipient of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award. “You lose ground. You really aren’t accomplishing your goal. Spanking is a short-term fix. It works in that it usually stops what’s going on, but it teaches the child to hit and causes him to become sneaky or want 48
to retaliate. It does not show the child how to solve a problem or provide him with the skills and training to accomplish the desired behavior. My bottom line is never do to the child what you wouldn’t want someone to do to you.” So, if spanking is out, then what can tired, frustrated parents do to thwart their children’s misbehavior and instill self-control in their young hearts and minds? Kersey has the answer in the 101 Positive Principles of Discipline, a list techniques to help parents nurture and love their children, teach respect, shape behavior, foster independence and build resiliency. Available on DVD, VHS and CD-ROM (www. dl.odu.edu/101s), it features positive discipline techniques demonstrated by childcare providers in Old Dominion’s Child Study Center who use each of the principles as Kersey provides comments. The material also includes resources and activities to help parents, educators and childcare workers apply and reinforce each principle and design their own effective disciplinary plan. Kersey began formulating the 101s several years ago after several encoun-
ters with audiences who objected when she spoke against the use of corporal punishment. “Many would insist that they were spanked and ‘turned out all right,’” she recalls. “I used to leave speeches feeling that I made people uncomfortable instead of convincing them that spanking was unnecessary and counterproductive.” To counter that, one of her students suggested that Kersey include alternatives to spanking in her speeches. Kersey introduced 30 original principles to provide specific positive discipline choices which teachers and parents could use to guide a child’s behavior. As the 101s took shape, Kersey challenged her students to contribute additional techniques that have been successfully implemented in both the classroom and home environment. The 101s have since become a staple in the early childhood and Prekindergarten-6 curriculum. She emphasizes that the 101s do not encourage permissiveness. Rather, they include many basic principles that give guidelines, encourage parents to be consistent, listen to the child, form a connection with the child and help the child realize that behavior has consequences. They work best when parents, teachers and caregivers have
laid a foundation of trust, kindness and respect. Kersey says that while all 101s may not “feel right” for any one person, she believes that most people can effectively and comfortably use at least 50 of the techniques to enhance discipline. Some of the 101s include: When/Then—Abuse It/Lose It Principle “When you have finished your homework, then you may watch TV.” Kersey notes that this technique teaches children to be responsible, obedient and accountable. Incompatible Alternative Principle Give the child something to do that he can’t do while misbehaving. “Help me pick out six oranges” instead of running around the grocery store. It is a good idea to offer two positive alternatives that are incompatible with the inappropriate behavior: “Would you like to choose the cereal or select the apples?” Choice Principle Give the child two choices, both of which are positive and acceptable to you. “When a child does something you don’t want him to do or doesn’t want to do what you have requested, give 49
him a choice,” Kersey explains. “If your child balks outside the barbershop, you say, ‘You may either hold my hand or walk in now on your own.’ Then – ‘You choose, or I’ll choose’ is the next choice if he is still reluctant. Usually, he’ll choose, but if not, quickly take his hand and hurry into the barbershop talking about the interesting barber chairs that roll up and down or the park you are going to visit later.”
about what he could do differently that would work better or be more constructive. Tell him that he can come back as soon as he is ready to try again. Put the ball in his court – and make him responsible for changing his behavior.
Make a Big Deal Principle Make a big deal over responsible, considerate, appropriate behavior with attention, thanks, praise, thumbsup, recognition, hugs and special privileges. “That’s something we forget to do,” Kersey notes. “Children want our eyeballs more than anything else, so we have to train ourselves to look for the good behavior and look away when it is inappropriate (as long as it is not dangerous or destructive). If it is dangerous or destructive, we have to stop it in the least reinforcing way possible – quickly before it escalates.”
Positive Closure Principle At the end of the day, remind your child that he is special and loved. Help him look for something good about the day that is finished and the day that lies ahead.
Talk About Them Positively to Others “Tell your husband ‘You should have seen Johnny at the barbershop. He sat up so tall and answered the barber’s questions.’ Johnny’s gotten an earful of good things.” Modeling Principle Model the behaviors you want. Show the child, by example, how to behave. Take a Break Principle Tell the child to “take a break” and think 50
Privacy Principle Never embarrass a child in front of others. Always move to a private place to talk when there is a problem.
Talk With Them, Not to Them Principle Focus on two-way communication rather than preaching to children. Listen as well as talk. Pay Attention Principle Keep your eyes and mind on what is happening. Don’t wait until the child is out of control to step in. Remove the child from the situation if necessary. Stay calm and emotionally detached. Let him know what his options are. Be firm but not mean. Use Actions Instead of Words Don’t say anything. When the child continues to get out of bed and comes to the living room, take him back to bed – as many times as it takes. Don’t get upset, talk, scold, threaten or give reasons. Stay calm. Your child will learn that nighttime is for sleeping and
that you are serious about enforcing bedtime. Whisper Principle Instead of yelling, screaming or talking in a loud voice, surprise the child by lowering your voice to a whisper. This often evokes immediate attention and helps you stay in control and think more clearly. “It’s our reactions to children’s actions that teach them whether or not to repeat them,” Kersey adds. “They’ll get your attention whichever way they can get it. Children repeat the behavior that works.” Get on Child’s Eye Level Principle When talking with the child, get down on his/her eye level and look him in the eye while talking softly to him. Many of the principles are derived from common sense, Kersey notes. “A lot of them are ones people use intuitively. Good parents use many of them without even realizing it. They really empower children, making them responsible for their own behavior.”
Although the list may seem daunting at first glance, Kersey advises implementing the techniques slowly. She recommends parents and caregivers try one principle for a week until it becomes a common practice. “You have to build up until you can become confident you can get the child to obey you in other ways,” she says, adding that the child may not immediately respond to the principle. The 101s offer a variety of choices. Parents will find favorite techniques that will work most effectively with each particular child. Kersey shows how to help a child break bad habits or develop good ones that are in his own best interest. “We need to think of a kind way to help the child become responsible for his own behavior,” she explains. “For example, a child could keep track of every time he makes his bed or brushes his teeth. For every five tallies, he can help his mom make cookies or go to the park with his dad. By the time he has 20 tallies, he will be much more likely to brush his teeth or make his bed automatically. Habits are hard to break or cultivate. It helps if we can find a way to make the new behavior important enough for him to want to do it until it becomes habitual.” Parents and caregivers can draw on the 101s to provide a healthy, nurturing environment focusing on positive discipline that teaches and trains, Kersey adds. “The goal of discipline is self-discipline. We want the child to learn to make good decisions for himself.” 51
On the other hand, punishment, including spanking, yelling and embarrassing the child, is counterproductive and unnecessary, according to Kersey. “My definition of punishment is hurting on purpose – either hitting or humiliating. Any time you do that, you disconnect because the other person feels alienated. Whenever we disconnect, the focus is on anger instead of helping the child to understand what he did wrong and what he can do better next time. This makes him want to retaliate, and our energy has to be spent trying to rebuild the connection.” Still, many parents believe spanking is the quickest and most effective form of discipline. Kersey notes that many proponents of spanking were spanked when they misbehaved as children and instinctively react in the same manner when their children exhibit bad behavior. “Most people who say they were spanked turn out fine because the amount of love and respect they felt in their homes far outweighed the times when they felt alienated,” she says. “It should come as no surprise that we see more aggressive tendencies in children who are spanked. A child isn’t born violent. He learns to be violent from modeling the behaviors of those around him.” Kersey adds that many parents spank out of anger toward the child’s inappropriate actions. She advises parents in those situations to count to 10 or
“The goal of discipline is self-discipline. We want the child to learn to make good decisions for himself.”
– Katharine C. Kersey
simply walk away. “It is hard once you’ve gotten in the habit of spanking to stop, but once you stop, you never go back to it because you see how effective other discipline techniques are.” The 101s can be used with all ages, including adolescents and even adults. Kersey acknowledges that she uses many of the principles with her staff and students. She notes that sports coaches, as well as business leaders, have used techniques found in the 101s with their teams and employees. During the past year, teachers at Newport News’ Newsome Park Elementary School, who had been trained to use the 101s, were filmed in their classrooms using the principles with their prekindergarten-sixth grade minority children. Kersey would especially like to see the 101s used in high schools, noting that while the wording of the principles would have to be changed, the basic idea is the same. “Respect is the bottom line,” she adds. “When you treat a child with respect, then he comes to treat you with respect and comes to respect himself.” Reprinted with permission: Old Dominion University, Quest Fall 2005, Volume 8, Issue 2.
I Was Dylan Quick The Endeavor publishes a variety of stories from the Deaf community. These stories are the authors’ personal expressions. ASDC strives to empower parents to be aware of their children’s social-emotional well-being and quality of life. By Donald A. Grushkin, Ph.D. On April 9, the news came out that 14 people had been stabbed by Dylan Quick, a student at Lone Star College in Texas. This tragedy, in the wake of the Newtown shootings, gave me pause to contemplate the debate surrounding gun control. Here, another horrific situation arose, yet guns were not at issue. An even more important issue soon arose: it was revealed that Dylan Quick was a Deaf (capitalized to indicate ethnicity, regardless of cultural affiliation) person who had been orally-raised and used a cochlear implant. My thoughts just as rapidly turned from gun control to the issue of mental health, especially where Deaf and hard of hearing people are concerned. Moreover, I quickly envisioned the media reports characterizing Quick as an “isolated loner” without mentioning he was Deaf, or focusing on causes and issues related to his rampage that had nothing to do with his being Deaf, insinuating that this was an isolated incident. Yet, in finding out that Quick was Deaf, I immediately empathized with him in his expression of what must be intolerable rage and frustration, for I, at one point in my life, could have done
almost exactly what he did. I was born Deaf. Upon finding I was Deaf, my parents decided to do exactly as Quick’s parents did: raise him as an “oral” person, meaning we were taught to speak via auditory pathways and to use whatever hearing capacities we had. Unlike Quick, I was (in my view, fortunately) born too soon to receive a cochlear implant; this technology did not become commonplace until the 1980s. Through the use of lipreading, hearing aids, intensive and ongoing speech therapy, I learned to speak; my speech is nearly indistinguishable from that of a hearing person’s. Up until the age of five, I attended an oral preschool classroom, and then I was transferred fulltime into the public schools as what is today termed a mainstreamed Deaf student. Although I succeeded in the academic realm, lipreading was and is insufficient for participation in any interaction where more than one other person is involved. The limitations of
lipreading also limited my ability to form friendships; throughout my mainstreamed years, I rarely had more than one or two other people at any one time that I could claim as a “friend.” Prior to the sixth grade, my family moved to another state, where I entered middle school. As most people know, the tween years are quite often stressful for many students, especially those who stand out as “different” – intellectually, physically, and/or socially. I naturally stood out among all these other hearing students, and as a result, I experienced extreme ostracism along with what today would be termed bullying; certain students deliberately used my abilities to lipread and inability to hear against me, in order to elicit reactions they thought were funny. After experiencing this sustained torment for months on end, the level of my anger and frustration rose to the point where, if left unrestrained, I might have readily envisioned using a weapon against them. As we have seen all too often, innocent bystanders have been victims of any such expressions of rage. Fortunately, this never happened, 54
because after two years of this personal hell, I convinced my parents to allow me to attend a school for the Deaf, where I knew that being Deaf would not be a cause for such bullying. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for my education within the Deaf world, for without it, I know I would not today be where I am—a successful, happy, married Deaf man with children, along with having a doctorate and teaching at a major state university. Although bullying by peers is a significant issue for Deaf people, a more insidious and pernicious problem exists for many of us, especially those who were not raised in Deaf-centered ways and especially when family members do not learn sign language. Many students in psychology classes are taught about the “double bind” that some parents place upon their children, and the harm that this can cause. For many Deaf people, this double bind is unconsciously placed on us as well. All too many can share stories of being told to lipread and use auditory skills, and yet, when such skills failed us, we were often told we were “not trying hard enough.” Some of us attempted to redouble our efforts only to fail yet again. We tried to follow the conversation by asking for clarification or repetition, only to be told that what we were asking about was “not important” or that we would be “told later,” then “later” we were told that the point was forgotten. After numerous attempts at this, some of us withdrew from social situations, either psycholog-
ically (staring at the walls and daydreaming, or reading books) or physically (going to another room to read, watch TV or do minor tasks such as washing dishes). And again, all too often, we were told to pay attention, or that our behavior (such as reading while at the dinner table or with guests present) was “rude.” This kind of double bind can be quite maddening, in both the literal and figurative senses. For more than 100 years, Deaf people like me have been trying to warn of the dangers of the socio-psychological violence inflicted upon Deaf students by oral-only methodologies (methodologies that purposely leave out sign language) and mainstreaming programs that do not have a critical mass of Deaf or hard of hearing peers. And for just as long, the auditory-medical complex and oral/aural organizations and proponents have pooh-poohed our experiences and warnings as things of the past. Yet, Quick has shown us that our fears and concerns are not obsolete or unfounded; instead, they are all too frighteningly real and present. I have at times wondered why, in our more than 30 years of sustained mainstreaming, we have not yet had any sort of violent rampage against peers by a Deaf person who experienced the same kinds of ostracism and bullying that I experienced, and what I suspect Quick must
also have experienced. One answer comes from a blog written by a 20-something orally-raised woman who self-identifies as hard of hearing (http://sayno2hate.blogspot. com/2012/02/ what-have-i-lost. html?m=1). She describes her feelings of self-hatred arising from living as a Deaf person in a hearing–dominated situation that culminated in harmful acts toward herself, including cutting herself and suicidal thoughts. Her story illustrates an important point that most Deaf people, despite undergoing this psychological trauma for something they ultimately have no control over, do break. Most of us do not break as dramatically as Dylan Quick, who obviously went over the edge into insanity, but break we do. Some of us act out in smaller, emotional, and more localized ways, which are often labeled as a temper tantrum or making a scene. Others may be more physical, engaging in fights. But more often, we seem to internalize, rather than externalize, our anger and frustration. Some engage in drug use, others cut themselves, and still others attempt suicide. Some may succeed in harming ourselves, while others merely move on past the hurts (identifying with the Deaf cultural community often does a lot for the healing process), but the net result is that our stories, feelings and 55
issues tend to become buried (sometimes literally) rather than enter into the public discourse. Our behaviors are often viewed by the so-called experts as a problem. For example, I was labeled emotionally disturbed. Yet, this so-called emotional disturbance virtually disappeared once I attended a Deaf school. This leads me to conclude that in most cases, Deaf people’s disruptive (externally or internally) behaviors in non-Deaf-centric settings where they are placed in the double bind sort of situations should be more accurately viewed as a semi-rational response or attempt to call attention to the problem of trying to live with what are ultimately, impossible demands. Quick’s rampage also illustrates another point that the Deaf community has attempted to present to the general public: that the use of a cochlear implant is not a panacea; it is not a “cure” for what is seen as the “problem of deafness.” Despite having a cochlear implant, which is purported to promote the successful integration of Deaf people into hearing society, Quick obviously experienced some sort of alienation from the hearing people around him in sufficient levels to exacerbate his mental illness, which appears to have started manifesting at the age of eight. This ultimately culminated in his rampage against random people on April 9. It is time for the public discourse to begin significantly and seriously examining the social and psychological costs of misguided public and educational 56
policies regarding Deaf and hard of hearing people. For Dylan Quick, it may already be too late; his chances at having a “normal” life are pretty much gone, and he may never be rehabilitated into society. For many more Deaf people, there is still time for change: parents and others can recognize the social and communicative difficulties placed on Deaf children through the choices made for them, and through the actions and responses of others. It it is my hope that future Dylan Quicks are never created. We can accomplish this as parents of Deaf and hard of hearing children by watching our children and paying attention to signs that they are not doing well or are unhappy. Further, we should not be tied to a particular methodology for ideological reasons, since this can cause us to ignore the signs or be persuaded that such signs are trivial or to be expected, and something to be overcome. Finally, as parents, we should be willing to make changes that help our children, even if these changes run counter to strongly held beliefs. After all, aren’t our children’s success and happiness what is truly important? Donald Grushkin is an associate professor of Deaf Studies at the California State University, Sacramento. Born Deaf, he was raised orally before attending a deaf school. He lives in the Bay Area with his family, all hearing. His videos can be seen at www.deafhooddiscourses.com and on YouTube under DrDonGCSUS.
ASDCâ€™s Renewing Educational and Organizational Members Alabama Institute f/t Deaf and Blind 205 East South Street Talladega, AL 35160 256-761-3215 www.aidb.org
American School f/t Deaf 139 North Main Street West Hartford, CT 06107 860-570-2300 www.asd-1817.org Arizona School f/t Deaf and the Blind P.O. Box 88510 Tucson, AZ 85754 520-770-3468 www.asdb.az.us
Cleary School f/t Deaf 301 Smithtown Blvd Nesconset, NY 11767 531-588-0530 www.clearyschool.org
Indiana School f/t Deaf 1200 East 42nd Street Indianapolis, IN 46205 317-550-4800 www.deafhoosiers.org
Colorado School f/t Deaf and Blind 33 N Institute Street Colorado Springs, CO 80903 719-578-2100 www.csdb.org
Iowa School f/t Deaf 3501 Harry Langdon Blvd Council Bluffs, IA 51503 712-366-0571
Delaware School f/t Deaf 620 East Chestnut Hill Road Newark, DE 19713 302-545-2301 www.christina.k12.de.us
Arkansas School f/t Deaf 2400 W Markham Street Little Rock, AR 72205 501-324-9543 www.arschoolforthedeaf. org
Educational Service Unit #9 1117 S East Street Hastings, NE 68901 402-463-5611 www.esu9.org
Beverly School f/t Deaf 6 Echo Avenue Beverly, MA 01915 978-927-7070 www.beverlyschoolforthedeaf.org
Florida School f/t Deaf & Blind 207 N San Marco Avenue St. Augustine, FL 32084 800-344-3732 www.fsdb.k12.fl.us
California School f/t Deaf 39350 Gallaudet Drive Fremont, CA 94538 510-794-3685 www.csdeagles.com
Gallaudet University 800 Florida Avenue NE Washington, DC 20002 202-651-5000 www.gallaudet.edu
Kansas School f/t Deaf 450 E Park Street Olathe, KS 66061 913-791-0573 www.ksdeaf.org Kendall Demonstration Elementary School 800 Florida Avenue NE Washington, DC 20002 202-651-5206 www.gallaudet.edu/clerc_ center Lamar University P.O. Box 10076 Beaumont, TX 77710 409-880-7011 www.lamar.edu Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center 800 Florida Avenue NE Washington, DC 20002 202-541-5855 www.gallaudet.edu/clerccenter
Maryland School f/t Deaf P.O. Box 250 Frederick, MD 21705 301-360-2000 www.msd.edu
Missouri School f/t Deaf 505 East 5th Street Fulton, MO 65251 573-592-4000 www.msd.k12.mo.us
Michigan School f/t Deaf 1667 Miller Road Flint, MI 48503 810-257-1400 www.deaftartars.com
Model Secondary School f/t Deaf 800 Florida Avenue NE Washington, DC 20002 202-651-5031 www.gallaudet.edu/clerc_ center
Mill Neck Manor School f/t Deaf P.O. Box 12 Mill Neck, NY 11765 800-264-0662 www.millneck.org Minnesota State Academy f/t Deaf 615 Olof Hanson Drive Faribault, MN 55021-5330 800-657-3996 www.msad.state.mn.us
Montana School f/t Deaf and Blind 3911 Central Avenue Great Falls, MT 59405 406-771-6000 www.msdb.mt.gov National Ctr. on Deafness California State University, Northridge 18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330 818-677-2145 www.csun.edu/ncod/ National Technical Institute f/t Deaf 52 Lomb Memorial Drive Rochester, NY 14623 585-475-6426 www.ntid.rit.edu New Jersey School f/t Deaf Box 535 Trenton, NJ 08625 609-530-3100 www.mksd.org New Mexico School f/t Deaf 1060 Cerrillos Road Santa Fe, NM 87505 505-827-6700 www.nmsd.k12.nm.us New York School f/t Deaf 555 Knollwood Road
Membership Package for Schools/Organizations ASDC provides a very special membership option for schools and organizations. If your school or organization would like to join ASDC as an Educational Member, ASDC will provide your school or organization with: • A free one-year membership for all of your families • A special thank you in the next monthly e-mail blast • A special thank you in The Endeavor • A special thank you in the news section of the ASDC website • A link to your school or organization’s website • A post of your contact information on ASDC’s Educational/Organizational Membership webpage Membership is only $250. If you would like more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 942-2732. 58
White Plains, NY 10603 914-949-7310 www.nysd.net Ohio School f/t Deaf 500 Morse Road Columbus, OH 43214 614-728-1422 www.ohioschoolforthedeaf.org
Oklahoma School f/t Deaf 1100 East Oklahoma Ave. Sulphur, OK 73086 580-622-8812 www.osd.k12.ok.us Pennsylvania School f/t Deaf 100 W School House Lane Philadelphia, PA 19144 215-951-4700 www.psd.org Phoenix Day School f/t Deaf 7654 N 19th Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85021 602-771-5300 www.asdb.az.gov Pressley Ridge School f/t Deaf 8236 Ohio River Blvd Pittsburgh, PA 15202 412-761-1929 www.pressleyridge.com Rhode Island School f/t Deaf One Corliss Park Providence, RI 02908 401-222-3525 www.rideaf.net
Rochester School f/t Deaf 1545 St. Paul Street Rochester, NY 14621 585-544-1240 www.rsdeaf.org
Vermont Center f/t Deaf and Hard of Hearing 209 Austine Drive Brattleboro, VT 0301 802-258-9500 www.vcdhh.org
Scranton School for Deaf and Hard of Hearing 537 Venard Road Clarks Summit, PA 18411 866-400-9080 www.thescrantonschool.org
Washington School f/t Deaf 611 Grand Blvd Vancouver, WA 98661 360-696-6525 www.wsd.wa.gov
St. Joseph’s School f/t Deaf 1000 Hutchinson River Pkwy. Bronx, NY 14065 718-828-9000 www.sjsdny.org
West Virginia Schools f/t Deaf and the Blind 301 East Main Street Romney, WV 26757 304-822-4800 wvsdb2.state.k12.wv.us
St. Rita’s School f/t Deaf 1720 Glendale Mildord Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45215 513-771-7600 www.srsdeaf.org
Western Pennsylvania School f/t Deaf 300 East Swissvale Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15218 800-624-3323 www.wpsd.org
Texas School f/t Deaf 1102 S. Congress Avenue Austin, TX 78704 512-462-5353 www.tsd.state.tx.us The Learning Center f/t Deaf 848 Central Street Framingham, MA 01701 508-879-5110 www.tlcdeaf.org
Willie Ross School f/t Deaf 32 Norway Street Longmeadow, MA 01106 413-567-0374 www.willierossschool.org Wisconsin School f/t Deaf 309 W Walworth Avenue Delavan, WI 53115 262-740-2066 www.dpi.wi.gov/wsd
Utah School f/t Deaf and the Blind 742 Harrison Blvd Ogden, UT 84404 801-431-5100 www.usdb.org 59
email@example.com Parent Information and Referral Line: (800) 942-ASDC (2732)
MEMBERSHIP FORM Name:__________________________
Address: __________________________________________________________ City: ___________________________
Phone: Voice/TTY/Videophone Membership Type Individual memberships _______$40 per year: Individual/Family Membership _______$100 per year: Three-year Individual/Family Membership _______$5,000 one-time fee: Lifetime Membership _______First-Year Free Membership (Families with deaf or hard of hearing children are eligible for a FREE one-year membership. Just fill out this form and mail, e-mail or fax it back to us.) Deaf or Hard of Hearing Child’s Name: ___________________________________ Date of Birth: ___________________________________ Group memberships _______$250 per year: Parent Affiliate Group ( ____ Number of Parent Members) _______$125 per year: Library Membership _______$250 per year: Educational Membership _______$250 per year: Organizational Membership I would like to send more than my membership dues. Enclosed is a tax-deductible donation:
$10 $25 $50 $100 _______Other
Total Enclosed: $__________ Make checks payable to American Society for Deaf Children. Please charge my Visa or MasterCard: Card Number:__________________________ Expiration Date:______________ Please return to: American Society for Deaf Children #2047 800 Florida Ave. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002-3695 Fax: (410) 795-0965 • Phone: (800) 942-2732 • E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Donâ€™t Miss a Word!
Help children with hearing loss enjoy phone conversations
with confidence. The CapTelÂŽ Captioned Telephone shows
captions of everything a caller
says, letting children read the words on a bright display screen. The captioning service is free, with
no monthly fees or
Captioned Telephone www.CapTel.com 1-800-233-9130 (V/TTY)
ASDC #2047 800 Florida Ave., NE Washington, D.C. 20002
Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Pittsburgh, PA Permit No. 993
With ASL and English, your child CAN... LEARN! THRIVE! SUCCEED! Mission Statement ASDC is committed to diverse families with children and youth who are deaf or hard of hearing by embracing full access to language-rich environments through mentoring, advocacy, resources, and collaborative networks. Consider joining ASDC today, and receive The Endeavor three times a year, discount admission to the ASDC biennial conference, access to invaluable resources from the ASDC media library, and access to speakers for your parent support group or event. You will also join forces with thousands of other families across the country, and support an organization that advocates for crucial national legislation and services for deaf and hard of hearing children. American Society for Deaf Children #2047 800 Florida Ave. NE • Washington, D.C. 20002-3695 (800) 942-2732 • email@example.com • www.deafchildren.org