The House Ear Institute (HEI), Los Angeles, established Family Camp 24 years ago as a open forum where parents raising a child with hearing loss could share their experiences and exchange information.
"While a number of other facilities address the needs of children with hearing loss, the Institute’s Family Camp addresses the family dynamics that surround and influence the child’s development," said Marilee Potthoff, director of marketing, HEI, via a posting on the Institute’s Web site. “We continue this approach because it encourages friendships, coping, and communication skills and introduces educational resources that can influence a child’s development.”
Designed to help all members of the family, the camp provides a supportive atmosphere that fosters verbal and sign language communication, and helps build self-esteem, friendships, and respect for each other’s differences and decisions, according to the Institute.
The parent workshops are focused on helping parents serve as role models for their children and how parents can help their child learn to be self-sufficient and to ask for what they need in the classroom. A group sharing session allows parents to talk with each other and a licensed family therapist about similar issues. This year there is a teen panel discussion where teens can share with parents their first-hand experience the challenges of growing up with a hearing loss and their own advice for parents.
Campers are matched with counselors who use sign language and other modes of communication to optimize the children’s learning and enjoyment, according to the Institute.
Family Camp will be held at Camp Hess Kramer from June 5 to 7 in the Santa Monica Mountains overlooking northern Malibu. For more information, click here.
HEI is a nonprofit organization that aims to advance hearing science through research and education to improve quality of life.