- Spoken language development is often delayed in children with unaddressed hearing loss
- The language deficit can have an adverse effect on academic performance
- Increased rates of grade failure and greater need for education assistance
- Communication difficulties often lead to social isolation, poor self-concept and may impact life choices
- Increased self-esteem, including confidence
- Perform better in school
- Improved relationships with friends and family
- Less likely to use drugs/alcohol
What is the Hand in Hand Program?
In early 2017, DCS reached out to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of San Diego County (BBBS of SD) to seek opportunities to connect deaf and hard of hearing adult role models with deaf and hard of hearing children. As a result, DCS partnered with BBBS and formed the Hand in Hand program which recognizes the importance of social development among deaf and hard of hearing children and offers an opportunity for adult deaf role models to share their experiences in what it takes to face challenges and make informed choices.
DCS’ Hand in Hand mentoring program selects deaf and hard of hearing role models for deaf and hard of hearing children, ages 7-16. Research indicates that over 90% of deaf and hard of hearing children have hearing parents. Deaf mentors provide interaction with deaf adults who can share their experiences as a deaf person navigating in a hearing world. BBBS mentors support deaf and hard of hearing children to improve social skills, self-esteem and confidence, and explore a wide array of possibilities for their future.
Participation in the program requests that Bigs and Littles meet at least 2 times a month for a minimum of 1 year. Through the Hand in Hand program, Bigs and Littles can enjoy doing activities together in the community with full communication access using American Sign Language (ASL).