Is my child really deafblind?

The term “deafblind” is often very difficult for families to hear.

You, as a parent, may think, “My child isn’t deafblind; she can see . . . or he can hear.” What is important to remember is that there are all types and degrees of vision and hearing loss in children who are deafblind. Very rarely are we talking about a child with total blindness and complete deafness. In addition, often a child may have an impairment that only affects one eye or one ear or is diagnosed with a progressive loss that currently may not be a problem.

It is a term describing any combined vision and hearing losses that are significant enough to require special modifications or supports—things that go beyond what would typically be needed if a child just had a hearing or vision loss.

Children who have a vision loss rely on their hearing and sense of touch to compensate for what they cannot see. We can provide children with vision loss clear descriptions of what is visually happening in their environment. We can provide audio books and adaptive technology which makes computers accessible. Children who are deaf or hard of hearing rely on their vision to compensate for what they don’t hear. We use sign language or cued speech, pictures, and other visual methods to help them get the information.