Most parents would agree that the best way to make good decisions for their child is to be educated and well informed. Not knowing where to find needed information can be very frustrating. Professionals can often be a good source of information, but many parents typically feel the need to do their own research in order to feel comfortable about making a decision. You can gather information from multiple sources: contact other parents with experience, talk with trusted professionals and educators, and do research online.
We often found that our best resource was other parents who had been in a similar situation. A parent's first loyalty is to their child. Most often their only concern is the welfare of their child, and they are more than willing to be open and honest with you about their own experiences.
Experienced parents may be able to point you to reference materials that they used when trying to make a specific decision for their own child. They have seen first-hand many of the pros and cons surrounding a specific decision they have made in the past and are usually very willing to share this information with you.
Talking with other parents, our parent advocates, and service coordinators has been the most helpful. Also, talking to deaf adults and younger deaf adults about their experience has been
Besides taking part in various activities involving other deaf and hard of hearing children and their families, and working closely with our child's teachers and caregivers, we have found that there are various sites on the Internet where you can communicate with deaf or hard of hearing persons, or other parents, and gain from their wealth of experience.
Fortunately, because I am deaf, I already knew many resources when I found out that my daughter was deaf. However, that did not mean that my choices and/or decisions came about easily. I have had struggles with school districts and other parents. State Commissions for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing are excellent resources and have offered me assistance in many different ways.
One of the first things I have always done is to talk to parents with older children who have been in a similar situation. Often they have already done the research in order to make a decision, and are able to share that with you, as well as being able to share the results of that decision. The thing to remember about doing this is that every child is different. What they decided may not necessarily be the most appropriate decision for your child. The benefit though, is that parents are honest enough to tell you if they feel their decision worked or did not, and they will give you the pros and cons.
Other parents have been the most helpful to me. There are none who have made the exact same decisions as us, but they have helped me in many different areas by sharing their experiences with me and helping me gather as much information as possible, so that I could open-mindedly make the best decision for us.
Seek out others. Educate yourself. Be patient and know that you have the best interest of your child at heart. Remember that most things evolve and change, and as parents we have the responsibility to be informed and guide our children in the best way we can.