Better Handling Your Child's Deafness: How Nyle Dimarco Is Changing What It Means To Be Deaf In America


If you haven't seen or heard of Nyle DiMarco yet, you likely will soon. This reality television phenomenon has won both America's Next Top Model and Dancing with the Stars in 2015 and 2016 respectively. He is also profoundly deaf and has been since birth and is single-handedly changing what it means to be deaf in America. 

When you have a child that you find out is deaf, you may have mixed emotions and be unsure of what to do. Get to know more about how to better handle your child's deafness based on the rising star of Nyle DiMarco.

Being Deaf Does Not Have To Be A "Disability"

One of the biggest lessons that anyone can learn from DiMarco's life is that being deaf does not have to be treated as a disability for your child. A deaf child can do just as much as a hearing child and can achieve amazing and impressive goals.

As such, it is important that you keep this fact in mind in raising your child. If you always focus on what they can do, rather than the fact that they cannot hear, they will not feel held back or in any way disabled as they entire their school years and move through their lives into adulthood.

There Are Different Degrees of Deafness

Being deaf is not a singular definition. In fact, there are different degrees of deafness. In the case of Nyle DiMarco, he is what is known as profoundly deaf. This means he has no ability to hear any kind of sound, not even ambient noise or faint hints of sound.

However, some deaf people can hear some background noise and the like with the help of hearing aids, which an audiologist can help your child get tested for and set up with. Depending on the degree of your child's deafness, they may benefit from wearing hearing aids. These hearing aids would allow them to hear ambient noise so that they can be more aware of the world around them, making it just a little bit easier to interact with the world around them.

Being Deaf Does Not Mean Your Child Cannot Communicate

Being deaf does not stop your child from being able to communicate. As you may have seen on America's Next Top Model and Dancing with the Stars, Nyle DiMarco considers American Sign Language to be his native language. However, he also occasionally speaks orally and uses body language, gestures, touch, lip reading, and an interpreter to also communicate with hearing people who do not sign.

Your deaf child will have many communication options available to them. Speech therapy, if you choose to go that route, can help your child to learn to speak orally from an early age. American Sign Language (ASL) is considered to be the native language of American deaf people and can help your child communicate with their hands.

Lip reading can be learned through practice and assistance in speech therapy, and your child will also be able to use a smartphone, tablet, or other device to communicate with hearing individuals out in the world by texting or writing notes to show someone if need be.

Now that you know more about how to better handle your child's deafness and how Nyle DiMarco is changing the way deaf people are perceived in the world, you can be sure that you do everything you can for your child to live the most fulfilling life possible regardless of their hearing loss and deafness. For more information and assistance, talk with a professional audiologist, such as those at Desert Knolls Hearing Center


2 June 2016

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