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How do I get my hearing child interested in communicating with my hard of hearing child?

I have 3 boys. My middle son is hard of hearing. My oldest son has no interest in learning sign language and it hurts me so bad. He often expresses how he wishes my middle son can just hear. I have even went as far as telling him it will be a secret language only you and your brother will know. It didn't work. I know you can't force him but it is ruining their relationship. Help!

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Asked by Kmcclary at 9:48 PM on Jun. 8, 2009 in General Parenting

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Answers (5)
  • Start communicating with him only in sign language. You are going to have to force this issue. You will have major problems if they cannot communicate at all, and it's not fair to your middle child to not be able to fully participate in family discussion.

    Answer by kemclaughlin at 9:50 PM on Jun. 8, 2009

  • I wouldn't press the whole language on him all at once. I would maybe just show him a few things to start off, like "eat" and "tired" just in your everyday normal routine. After all they say kids learn by example, so maybe if you just communicate more in sign language it would make your oldest more apt to do so, just to keep in link with everyone else in the house. -Sincerely Cyndi "D

    Answer by SuperbowlBoys at 9:51 PM on Jun. 8, 2009

  • As the PP said, only communicate to him in sign language. He needs to learn so he can talk to his brother. I would give no other option. He is going to hurt his little brothers feelings.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 9:51 PM on Jun. 8, 2009

  • I agree with the two who feel that you should only talk in sign language. That is horrible. It is too bad you can not pick and choose your family. He will probably regret what he said when he gets older. I am sorry your in that situation. Hope it all gets better for you. My feelings are kind of hurt when my 2 yr old does not want to play with his 7 month old sister so I am not in your shoes but I can imagine how you feel.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:15 PM on Jun. 8, 2009

  • Have you tried having an open discussion as to why? Maybe it would help if he had a group where he could meet other kids who have a sibling who is hard of hearing (think positive peer pressure). Maybe he feels like it is too hard to understand sign language or that it is just very overwhelming because he hasn't had exposure to it since he was a baby like the youngest hearing child has. He is the big brother, but can't do something as well as his younger brothers can, which might be very difficult for him.

    Answer by squish at 12:02 AM on Jun. 9, 2009

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