Educational Resources

The language of the deaf child is most often acquired, simultaneously, with their education, not in their home. Almost never, is there a native-like exposure or representation provided as his/her model for learning American Sign Language (ASL). If there is, it is most often at the age of 5 and older and in an institutional setting. This lack of language exposure, language deprivation, has an impact on future educational successes of the deaf child, also impacting them emotionally and socially, as well.
See Language Deprivation.

The educational resources and recommendations for Deaf children are constantly changing and almost always disagreed upon. An exhaustive search into the educational resources and diverse opinions surrounding them are often overwhelming and numbing. The end goal of educating a Deaf child seems always to be improving their comprehension of their written-read English skills and the exuberance to do so at the earliest age, often impedes the full acquisition of American Sign Language, in its most visual comprehended form.

Without the foundation and comprehension of a first visually understood language, a linear written-read language acquisition will almost always be limited to a 3rd or 4th grade English reading level. Yes, there will always be exceptions to this. The research with this particular criteria, a first language being signed language without the influence of the written/read language from the hearing culture, has yet to be conducted since so few have been exposed to only ASL during those formative years.

Once a visual language is acquired, like ASL, the learning of a 2nd linear language based or written/read language of the hearing majority culture, can begin. Having this level of visual understanding of their world, grants the ability to relate that comprehension level then to the linear language, their 2nd language.

These resources are not exhaustive and they are not necessarily endorsed by Signs for Hope.