Campus: CSU Fresno -- May 17, 2002

Fresno State Professor Publishes the First Spanish Book on Raising Deaf Children

El Jardin Silencioso: Criando a su Hijo Sordo is translation of his book The Silent Garden: Raising Your Deaf Child

Dr. Paul Ogden, a Deaf Studies professor at California State University, Fresno, has released the first book in Spanish that addresses the issue of raising a deaf or hard of hearing child, El Jardin Silencioso: Criando a su Hijo Sordo.

The book, a Spanish version of his The Silent Garden: Raising Your Deaf Child, was first distributed at the California Educators of the Deaf and Independently Merging Parent Associations of California Together for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children (CALED/IMPACT) conference in Sacramento in March.

El Jardin Silencioso is a guide for parents of deaf and hard of hearing children designed to help them raise and educate their children and navigate the uncharted territory of their new experience, Ogden said.

"I decided to publish a Spanish edition of the book after people at workshops and conferences, my Latino students and Latino colleagues within the field made me aware of the absence of this kind of publication for Spanish-speaking families," he said.

Statistics show that 60 percent of deaf and hard of hearing children in the California school system are Latino, Ogden said, noting that only three to six percent of all teachers educating these students are Latino.

Ogden notes that two important messages in the book are that the child has a positive experience with their family and that deafness is not about hearing loss, but about communication.

"I think many hearing professionals, teachers, parents, etc. miss this very important truth," Ogden said. "If the readers of my book can come to understand that the central issue to deafness is communication, then I think they can successfully provide communication accessibility to the deaf or hard of hearing children in their lives."

Dr. Helda Pinzon-Perez, assistant professor in the Health Science Department at Fresno State, assisted in the translation. She feels that there are multiple cultural differences in raising a deaf or hard of hearing child in a Latino household and more research is needed.

"Unfortunately, very little research has been conducted to document such difference in Latino families," Pinzon-Perez said. "Dr. Ogden has opened the door to motivate more researchers and practitioners to explore the magnitude and the cultural impact of deafness and hard of hearing in the Latino community."

Ogden hopes that teachers will become aware and recognize the value of a resource like the Spanish translation of The Silent Garden and will make it available to Spanish speaking parents of deaf and hard of hearing children.

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