Raising a Deaf Child: Finding Support

Our guest blog author and local mum Tess continues to share her journey of raising a beautiful little boy who is severely/profoundly deaf. Following her previous post on finding support, Tess now provides a detailed summary of essential resources and organisations that have been invaluable to her family, aiming to help other parents navigate the challenges of parenting a deaf child.

Finding support when parenting a deaf child

I recently wrote a blog for Home-Start talking about our experiences so far in raising our beautiful little boy who is also severely/profoundly deaf. One of the things that has been incredibly important for us has been access to information and support. 

Most of the time parents have to find this information out for themselves, so to save you the trouble, I thought I’d summarise it all here.

Your Local Sensory Support Team

You should be referred to your local Sensory Support Team after your child’s hearing loss has been confirmed by your audiologist. This team will allocate you a Teacher of the Deaf who will support you and your child in the very early days of processing the information, right through your child’s education. If you live in Hertfordshire then you can find more information here and if you live in Cambridgeshire then you can find more information here.

The National Deaf Children’s Society

https://www.ndcs.org.uk/

This is a wonderful charity that offers support on topics relating to childhood deafness. Their website is packed with information – you need to sign up as a member to explore the whole site, which is free. They also have a helpline 0808 800 8880 which you can call to either chat about how you’re feeling about your child’s diagnosis, or to ask for specific help from experts in different fields.

There are also various local National Deaf Children’s Societies.  For our area, these are Cambridgeshire & Huntingdon and Hertfordshire. They offer support but also organise family gatherings regularly throughout the year and have their own Facebook pages too.

The Elizabeth Foundation

https://elizabeth-foundation.org/

This is a pre-school for deaf children. It is based in Portsmouth, but they have a free online course designed to help develop your child’s language skills called Let’s Listen & Talk.  Their CEO, Julie is incredibly friendly and always happy to chat over the phone.  They also have a week-long summer school for families to attend once their child is 3. 

Instagram accounts

If you like Instagram then you’ll be spoilt for choice for accounts to follow.  Here are some of my favourites – a mix of parents of deaf children, Deaf young people and Deaf adults.

Raising a deaf childDeaf Adults/Young people
@raisingbilinguals
@mybattlecall
@daddys_deaf_boy
@alipalipanju
@learning.adas.language
@jazzywhipps
@being_her
@deafchefofficial
@jamieclarke_9
@rose.a.e
@sarahadedeji.x

Facebook groups

Facebook can be a bit like the Wild West when it comes to joining groups but these are the ones that I have found most supportive.  There is also a lovely global feel to a lot of them.

Books

The Silent Garden (3rd edition): A parent’s guide to raising a deaf child (Paul Ogden & David Smith)

Hello Holland: The path to embracing your child’s hearing loss (Beth Leipholtz)

Through the Fog: Navigating life’s challenges while raising kids with hearing loss (Valli Gideons)


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