SASLJ Vol. 2 No. 2 - Page 112

Unlocking the Curriculum Johnson et al. Family Support Program The goal of this component is to provide educational and emotional support for the families of deaf children. It is critical that parents understand the differences between our model of education and the interventionist models that are more typically available. We are asking them to come to grips with the deafness of their child in a new and different way. We are presenting their child, not as a defective human whose natural tendencies to learn and interact visually must be inhibited, but as a capable person whose first linguistic task must be to learn a language other than that of the parents in order to succeed. This will entail an understanding of the challenge a deaf child presents to a family, in which he or she will not be able to participate normally or fully without substantial adjustments by siblings and parents. The focus of family activities will be around the acceptance of this view and to the resulting family adaptation to and participation in the child's development it requires. The program will be accessible to parents and family members throughout the time that their child is in school. Over time, a significant role will be played by the experienced parents in assisting in the adaptation of new parents and family members to the program. The program includes the following parts: 1. Parent Support Groups 2. Weekly deaf community contact (foster grandparents) 3. Family education and counseling by professionals 4. Weekend camp programs to provide occasional intensive contact with the deaf community 5. Summer camp programs to provide yearly, long-term contact with the deaf community Family-Infant-Toddler Program This component aims toward the development of American Sign Language skills for deaf infants and toddlers and the development of sign language and interactional skills for their parents and siblings. 1. Family: a. ASL teaching b. family counseling c. deafness education 2. Infants-Toddlers: a. ASL acquisition b. play groups with focus on language and psycho-social development c. reading readiness d. speech readiness e. auditory stimulation SASLJ, Vol. 2, No. 2 – Fall/Winter 2018 112