Loon Parents

Parents Sign Language Class

Claudio learning basic sign language

Claudio thought that all he needed to communicate with his Deaf son were basic gestures and body language. When his son enrolled in school and learned sign language, Claudio soon realized how much he was missing. Claudio’s son, Dayjhay, actually had a lot to say, and Claudio could now see how limited their communication really was. Even though Dayjhay can converse with other people through sign language, there was still a significant communication gap between Claudio and Dayjhay. It is typical in families with Deaf children for the hearing parents to struggle to learn sign language. IDEA hears the same thing from many parents: the communication gap is the greatest challenge in raising Deaf children.

A Parent in Loon SPED Center learning signs

Communication obstacles within Deaf a family often lead to stress and frustration within the home even after a child learns sign language. At times, the child feels isolated within his family and finds communicating with teachers and fellow Deaf to be easier than with family.

In an effort to improve communication between hearing parents and their Deaf children, IDEA has held free sign language classes for parents for several years. This November, IDEA held a two-day parents sign language class at each of the four IDEA dormitories in Bohol.

Sagbayan PSL Class

Parents sign language class in Sagbayan SPED Center

The classes were designed to help parents begin communicating with their children in an entirely new way through basic sign language. Learning sign language takes a lot of commitment and time, but after two days of intense practice, parents can use basic signs for daily conversation with their Deaf children. Parents are empowered to continue to learn more signs and grow a relationship with their children in a new way.

IDEA can help a Deaf child grow through education and community, but there is no replacement for parents in a Deaf child’s life. When parents embrace sign language it has a great impact on the future of a Deaf child.