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Family Comes First: Listening to the Deaf

Learning that your child has hearing loss can be a very emotional discovery.

Parents are often overwhelmed with many emotions. They must quickly learn a great deal about how to best help their child. Oftentimes, parents don’t know where to turn for information and support when they learn their child is deaf or hearing impaired.

On this brand new episode of Family Comes First “Listening to the Deaf,” we learn about two families who each have a child with hearing loss, and hear from the schools that support them.

First, we meet with Diane Modico and Jacqueline Simms, the Executive Director of the Cleary School for the Deaf. Diane’s daughter, Julia, has a hearing impairment and is a student at the Cleary School for the Deaf. Diane shares that her daughter was diagnosed with profound bilateral hearing loss when she was just 7 or 8 months old. Diane was able to detect that Julia wasn’t meeting certain milestones and began searching for help. During the episode, Diane sends a message to other parents with children who have hearing impairments:

First and foremost, the message I would want to say is don’t look too far into the future. Because you’re probably going to be wrong, for sure, and you have to let them shine. They are who they are; they’re different. They’ll have their struggles, but you need to let them be who they are and that’s so important.”

Jacqueline explains how the Cleary School provides services for children from birth through age 21. A special feature that the Cleary School offers is integrating children—with both hearing and hearing impaired children—so that they can succeed in the community.

Next on our show, we meet with Alicia and Annalese Allegue as well as the Superintendent of the Mill Neck School for the Deaf, Francine Atlas Bogdanoff. Annalese has been attending Mill Neck since she was just 2 ½ years old. Alicia wants to share a message with individuals who are not hearing impaired:

They’re normal kids, they’re just like everyone else. They do cheerleading and they play basketball and when they go into a store and go to Starbucks, and order a double chocolate chip Frappuccino, you know, that’s what everyone else does.

Francine explains that the most important thing for everyone to know is:  “People need to understand that students coming to our campus allows them to have everything a hearing student would have. The same academics, the same programs, and they’re also kind of included in everything that might not happen in a public school. They’re on the cheerleading team, they are the yearbook editors, they are president of the class, they are the prom queen. But the truth is, it might happen in a public school, or maybe not. But here, everybody has access to everything, and I think it’s wonderful for the students that need it.”

Tune in to Telecare on Monday, January 16, 2017 at 10:30 pm to watch this brand new episode. In case you miss it, each episode also airs on Tuesdays at 9:30 am, Wednesdays at 1:30 pm and Fridays at 1:30 pm.

We invite you to watch and be inspired! Family Comes First™ airs exclusively on Telecare TV – Cablevision Channels 29 and 137; Time Warner Channels 106 (Manhattan) and 471 (Queens); or Verizon FiOS TV Channel 296.

For more on Family Comes First™, please follow us on Facebook, or visit our Family Comes First website at www.familycomesfirst.tv.

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