Saturday, December 5, 2015

My Hypothetical Family Situation

Who am I?

I am a mother of a deaf child and seven other children ranging from ages 14 to 1. We moved to the United States from Syria in 2013. My family speaks Arabic; and today we are still learning English. My husband works in a food store that sells Arabic food, and I am a seamstress. We have no family in the U.S. We are dealing both major political and religious circumstances. We are working to become citizens of the United States; although we have experienced some of the American generosity, we are occasionally targeted for our Muslim religion.

My 2-year-old deaf child is the next to last child. We just found out that she is Deaf. We have never met anyone who was/is Deaf and have no idea what to do. We want her to maintain her Syrian heritage and speak Arabic as well as English.

Today, we are concerned about what services there are for deaf children. Can she go to school? We are concerned about her future; can she succeed in life? Whom will she marry? Ultimately, how will we communicate with her?

Has anyone of you encountered a family like that? A family with similar situations but different circumstances?


  1. I believe that your situation is realistic and am looking forward to reading your and learning about how you put together your model. I have added a few websites for you to view if you get a chance. I work for Help Me Grow and they offere EI services for children up to the age of three and then assist the family with transitioning to their school district. And also the website for American Society of Deaf Children.

  2. Marla,

    This is realistic situation and with what is currently going on in the world I think this family will have even more struggles than just the deaf child. I am looking forward to seeing what type of support services you will put in your model to help this family with diversity and cultural responsibility.

  3. Marla,
    There were many coponents to your story which made it very realistic. I learned "Arabic sign languages (ARSLs) are still in their developmental stages. Only in recent years has there been an awareness of the existence of communities consisting of individuals with disabilities" (Abdel-Fattah,2005) I understand the value and importance in your mock family maintaining their hertiage and culture while living here in the U.S.

    Abdel-Fattah, M.A. ( 2005) Arabic Sign Language: A Perspective. Retrieved from

  4. Your situation does sound realistic for sure. I am interested to see where you take this as you go forward with designing your own early childhood system. The websites posted by Laura seem like they should be quite helpful.
    I have dealt with many different types of families, but never any deaf children. I do have an number of children in my class currently that speak Arabic. There is one girl in particular that struggles with communicating in English.
    Good luck!