Celebrating Christmas with Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
It’s a wonderful day today for us at Boys Town.
We have an annual holiday party where our families, who have children who are deaf or hard of hearing, come and join together with members of our deaf community in Omaha, and with other families.
Some of our deaf and hard of hearing children use spoken language, some use sign language, some use both, but there’s rare opportunities to give all of those children access to a Santa who knows how to sign with them.
I understand that the children wake up and just can’t wait to get here. It’s exciting for them to see Santa, receive a prize, and do a number of fun activities with their peers.
“And I will make the white!”
“Ok, you’re going to put the white on?”
Lukas, he actually currently goes to preschool at Boys Town.
He has a cochlear implant on each side and he was implanted when he was one year old.
He’s always talked about seeing Santa and asking Santa for a specific blue snake.
I’m not sure where that came from but apparently, that’s something that he’s into right now.
He actually sat on Santa’s lap without mom and dad being there, so that was an improvement from last year.
We really like coming to this event. He gets the exposure of other people doing sign language, to know that’s another method of communication versus just doing all verbal communication.
Also, obviously the activities and intermingling with other kids his age, along with hearing and hard of hearing kids, he kind of gets the best of both worlds here.
The support of the deaf and hard of hearing community, Hands and Voices, the Metro Regional Program, the parents that we’ve met through there have been awesome.