If educational experts are telling you NOT to sign to your deaf baby because he won’t be normal and won’t learn to talk if he learns ASL or learns to sign; then let’s discuss a few things.
First, let’s first address the term “normal”. What does that mean? Ask your doctor what he means by the term “normal”. Does it mean your child will look and act likes other children who can hear and speak and not draw attention to himself by signing? I am afraid that a child without language input from birth will certainly not be “normal” in ANY way. He will be unable to make his needs, wants, hurts, or feelings known without language. When he can’t get those needs met in the “normal” way, his frustration and anger will manifest itself in aggressive, physical actions. Now *that* is normal – you and I would do the same! But with *those behaviors* he will definitely draw attention to himself!
He will also be behind all his hearing peers in language development. Unless he catches up somehow, he will never be on “normal” grade level. Like 90% of his deaf peers (the 90 % without language input at home), he will graduate high school with less than a third or fourth grade reading level-hardly “normal” achievement after 12+ years of school. He will struggle all the way through school because the inability to read well will affect every area of study. A strong language and reading base is necessary to learn Science, History, Social Studies, even Math. He will not pass the EXIT exam for high school and will not be able to go to college… He will live on SSI the rest of his life because he cannot get a decent job that will support him without a high school diploma or the necessary reading, language skills.
So, ask your doctor what he means by normal and please let me know his reasoning.