It has been a year since I first created Babble Onwords. This piece has always been, in my eyes, the most important account I’ve written of my life as the mother of a deaf child. I promise more new material is on its way, but, for now, I’m re-posting this one.
We live in Washington, DC, where we are fortunate to have access to many resources for deaf children and their families. One of these was the parent infant program, called PIP, at Gallaudet University, where we were welcomed with warmth and understanding when Grace was a baby. In the midst of my overwhelming sense of loss and confusion, and my struggle over how best to help my daughter, I had, in the Deaf community, an option for solace.
It was a loving place, full of noise (yes, really), and language – the hands flying fast around me, and a true sense of family. Twice a week I brought Grace to the sunny classroom full of babies and toddlers who were deaf and hard-of-hearing. I became friends with other parents, both hearing and deaf. I hungrily learned American Sign Language (ASL), desperate to have some way to communicate with my daughter.
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