It is hard to imagine in this day and age that we would have a medical/mental issue that is not being understood or addressed in mainstream caregiving. Of course after watching the pandemic experts create confusion across the world, it is easier to see how far behind we can be.
Today we are talking about Language Deprivation. We need to create awareness.
"One in eight people in the United States (13 percent, or 30 million) aged 12 years or older has hearing loss in both ears, based on standard hearing examinations." according to the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/quick-statistics-hearing.
For those born with this hearing loss, they are not only going to deal with communication hardships from lack of hearing, but because 90% of them are born to hearing parents; they are also highly susceptible to language deprivation Language deprivation itself causes a plethora of other communication problems. Deprivation happens the moment they go without language and is permanent. Prevention is available and that is through the introduction and use of American Sign Language. Within this article, there is information regarding the importance of American Sign Language.
The definition of deprivation is "the damaging lack of material benefits considered to be basic necessities in a society." per Oxford Languages.
So although any deaf baby may feel love, joy, and fear; they are not experiencing communication when their brains would create the strong bonds in their brain's synapsis. By lacking this necessary development, there are weaknesses and missing connections needed for the next step of communication. Brain mapping studies and research of this development, or lack of, has proven this to be true. Society has had knowledge of this information for over 20 years, yet we hear so little about it.
Mental Health connection
Recently I was invited to hear the research from Neil S. Glickman, who has found there is a connection between deaf mental health patients and Language Deprivation. So, he will show that not only does language deprivation stunt the communication developing to its full potential, it also creates mental health issues because of that deprivation.
Here is a link to that webinar for those that would like to understand and help create the change our society truly needs to have towards language for birth to 9 years old deaf children. Simply they need access to sign language at all times to fully develop their communication and prevent the mental anguish deprivation causes. Be a part of the solution and make Montana a place that deaf children can thrive!!!
Thank you to all that are leading the charge in the change we need! Sherrie Neff