Note: SWM recognizes the need to go into all the world and reach ALL Deaf people with a clear presentation of the Gospel – J Barr
Special Needs Deaf (SND) are deaf people who, for one reason or another, need special methods to teach them. There could be many different reasons. For example:
- No exposure to Sign Language – Some deaf have never had anyone teach them sign language. They may live in a family of hearing people who did not allow their children to learn signs. They need special classes to help them catch up. Sometime the parents or family do not believe their children are deaf. Some see no need for the deaf to learn signs. Some do not want to learn signs themselves. A doctor or other professional may have told them NOT to let their children learn signs. Or possibly there are no schools or ministries nearby to help them learn.
- Little or no education – Schools in foreign countries often require tuition. Sometimes the deaf do not go to school or quit school before they learn much at all. Some parents do not want to spend the money for school, or are too poor to afford sending their kids to a deaf school. Some believe the deaf can never learn at school. Therefore, there is no need for any special education. Some prefer to use their children at home to do the chores around the house.
- Eyesight problems – They may need a special class because of poor eyesight. Some deaf must be taught one on one, so they can see both the signs and the pictures.
- Behavioral problems – I have seen children who have never been taught how to behave at home or in public. One father followed his son wherever he went. The boy came to our deaf camp for 15 minutes and then ran off. The father apologized, then quickly followed his son. A separate class will help them learn to behave and learn the Word of God.
- Slow learners – We also teach people who are considered to be slow learners. They can learn, but just at a different pace and with different methods than other deaf. Be patient and they will soon understand. One girl in the Philippines was a very slow learner. It took her five years to understand the Gospel and be saved. (More Next Time…)