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Odyssey: New Directions in Deaf Education, v18 p76-79 2017

Brenda Perrodin is a teacher in the Parent-Infant Program at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center's Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES), on the campus of Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. With a bachelor's degree in early childhood education and a master's degree in family-centered early education from Gallaudet University, Perrodin has worked at the Clerc Center since 1996. She is also a mentor with the Shared Reading Project at KDES. In this article, Perrodin shares how her son, Emmanuel, who is deaf, has excelled academically and in other aspects of life. Parents often marvel at Emmanuel's success and even ask her how she did it. While she did not accomplish her son's success--her son did--that does not mean that parenting was irrelevant. As a person who works with young deaf and hard of hearing children and their parents every day, she knows that parenting is critical. Parents often ask her what is most important--if there is a special key--to enabling their deaf and hard of hearing children to achieve academic success and self-fulfillment. She tells them that absolutely there is a special key: language exposure. Perrodin also credits success to the ease of communication that occurs when parents and children use the same language, which in her family's case is American Sign Language.

Descriptors: Deafness, Hearing Impairments, Special Schools, American Sign Language, Communication Skills, Parent Child Relationship, Parent Role, Child Development

Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center. Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Avenue NE, KS 3600, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-526-9105; Tel: 202-651-5340; Fax: 202-651-5708; e-mail: odyssey[at]; Web site:

Autor: Perrodin, Brenda


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