Another Path: A Resource for Homeschooling Your Deaf or Hard of Hearing Child
By Barbara Handley
One morning in August 1998, I lay in bed snuggling with my children. My two-year-old son had drifted back to sleep. I kissed my daughter and whispered, "I love you." She nodded at me, climbed out of the bed, and went downstairs. I realized that she had not understood what I'd said.
I followed her downstairs and told her I wanted to try something. I wanted her to repeat exactly what she heard me say without trying to guess. I placed my lips very close to her ear, and in a low voice, I said, "popsicle."
"Mumbumbum." That was the moment that I knew my daughter could not hear, though it took eight months of testing to prove my hunch correct. After her first audiogram, I began researching hearing loss. I'd decided to homeschool my children before they were born and I was firmly committed to continuing. One of the first topics I researched on the internet was homeschooling deaf children.
I found nothing. In the fall of 1998 there was not one article or paragraph on the entire internet that discussed homeschooling children with hearing loss. I gave up on the search and focused my energy on learning to understand audiograms and the care and feeding of hearing aids.
About a year later, someone on an e-mail list for parents of deaf and hard-of-hearing children asked me to recommend some books and web sites about homeschooling. I prepared a list, and several more people asked for it. I decided to put the resources on the internet where they'd be more accessible. At that time, the infant web site consisted of about seven pages of book lists and web site links.
Today, the Another Path web site has nearly 300 pages of articles, reviews and resources for everything from home-based speech therapy to building your own robot.
My daughter is nine years old and she has never been to school or received Special Education services. She reads at an upper high school reading level, and is currently learning algebra. She takes gymnastics lessons and art classes, plays chess with her brother and homeschooling friends, plays the piano, and is currently determined to compete on Jeopardy.See the website for Another Path at www.deafhomeschool.com