April 22, 2008

The House Ear Institute’s annual Family Camp, established by the institute as a comfortable, open forum where parents raising a deaf or hard-of-hearing child could share feelings, compare experiences and exchange information and philosophies will be May 30 through June 1 in Malibu, Calif.

"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," says Marilee Potthoff, the institute’s director of marketing.

Designed to help all members of the family, both deaf and hearing, as well as parents and children, the camp provides a supportive atmosphere that fosters both verbal and sign language communication. It is also designed to help build self-esteem, friendships, and respect for individual differences and decisions.

The institute reports that each year about 40 families come to camp, which includes about 70 hearing, hard-of-hearing and deaf children. Fifty percent of the families return each year.

This year the parent workshops are focused on helping parents build their child’s self confidence and teach their children with hearing loss to be assertive and to ask for what they need in the classroom.

Campers aged 12 months to 16 years are matched with counselors who use sign language and other modes of communication to optimize the children’s learning and enjoyment of activities in arts and crafts, safety, dance expression, rhythm and percussion, nature and sports.

Source: House Ear Institute