Getting Involved Matters!

Getting actively involved in your child’s program makes a difference in how your child learns.  Some features of family involvement that matter include:

  • Making decisions and being willing to adjust them as the child’s needs change.
  • Communicating effectively with the child who is deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Using language consistently with the child throughout daily routines.
  • Being familiar with ways to encourage your child’s language development in natural ways.
  • Making language accessible to the child (e.g., consistently signing or speaking or both).
  • Being responsive to the child's efforts to communicate.
  • Knowing how to advocate for the child's needs.
  • Helping the child adjust to and use hearing devices.

What Family Members Should Be Involved in Decision Making?

Who should be involved in the early decisions that you make as parents of hard-of-hearing or deaf babies? Remember that everyone in your family will be a part of the community in which your baby grows and develops. Certainly, you as parents must make the choices, but there are others you can include by listening to their ideas.

Family Members Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

If you have other family members who are deaf or hard of hearing, they may be able to tell you about their experiences. While their experiences being deaf or hard of hearing and your baby's may not be exactly the same, they have a personal perspective that can be very helpful.

Extended Family Members

Grandparents, aunts and uncles often become very interested when a baby who is hard-of-hearing or deaf is born into the family. They may get information from many sources such as television, magazines, or the Internet and want to share it with you.

Some facts will be more useful than others, but by discussing information with other adult family members, all of you can think more clearly about the things you want to know.


Brothers and sisters, especially those who are older, will be affected by the decisions that you make.

By sharing what you learn with them, and talking about the impact (rewarding as well as challenging) that your decisions will have on family life, you make other children a part of the decision-making process.

Brothers and sisters sometimes feel left out as adult attention moves to meet the challenge of a baby who is deaf or hard of hearing. When you pay attention to their ideas before making decisions you can help to reassure them that their position in the family is secure.