After 14 years of living with a deaf child, my first bit of advice to any parent (educator) of a deaf child would be :
UNDERSTAND AND ACCEPT HIS DEAFNESS AS A HANDICAP OF
COMMUNICATION. When you realize and accept the fact that your deaf child is normal in every way, except in his ability to communicate, you will have taken the first and most vital step toward helping him to overcome his handicap.
MAKE FRIENDS WITH DEAF PEOPLE.
Nothing can help hearing parents (or educators) of a deaf child as much as the friendship and understanding of a man or woman who shares their child's (student's) world of silence. After all, who could give you better advice on how to
help your deaf child (student) than someone who has already accepted and learned to live with the handicap of deafness.
LOVE YOUR DEAF CHILD PHYSICALLY.
Love is the easiest of all methods of communication so don't be afraid to use lots of it and often. (This applies to educators too because if they do not love educating deaf children they should find a new career!!!)
BE PROUD OF YOUR DEAF CHILD.
God must have thought you were someone special if he gave one of his deaf children to you (to parent or teach) accept him as the special gift he is, and you will find that an extra helping of love and contentment will be yours.
(A good educator should always be proud of the educational opportunities they are providing for their deaf students.).
"From A Parent's Point of View" by Mary Jane Rhodes, February 1967
What do we mean when we say "communicate" with your deaf child (student)? We want you to make an extra effort to truly exchange ideas and convey information to your hearing handicapped child. Help him to partake of the learning opportunities and experiences that can be shared in your family's life (classroom). Remember that being deaf can be very lonesome... Don't let your hearing handicapped child (student) be a stranger in his own home (classroom).
These words of a deaf man (dean of boys at one of our state schools).
"I know from experience that what you say is what every mother (and educator) in the country should know! The pent up feelings that surged within me wanted release. I wanted to talk to my mother (teacher) but I couldn't and my only release was to cry myself to sleep at night, all alone. Loneliness can do irreparable damage to the emotions of a .youngster who is deprived of the soothing, comforting words of a mother to still his fears in the night. I can still feel this 40 years later!
"From A Parent's Point Of View" by Mary Jane Rhodes, September 1967