ISRC Digital Update
May 2013

* Printer-Friendly Digital Update Here *
If you have any resources that you would like to share with other teachers, parents, and professionals of Deaf and Hard of Hearing youth, please share them with us to be included in future issues.

Upcoming Events

~ Deaf Can Do It Community Service Day is May 1st!! Sponsored by the Illinois Service Resource Center, the theme is People Helping People. On May 1, 2012 Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing School-age Children volunteered all across the state to help their local animal shelters. They set the record as being the largest group of deaf and hard of hearing students to participate in a community service project. A total of 495 students volunteered! To learn more about this project, please go to We are encouraging deaf and hard of hearing students from THIRTEEN Midwest states to get involved in a service project for May 1, 2013 and the theme is "PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE." There are many non-profit organizations serving people in your local community that cannot function without the input of volunteers. Your local food pantry, homeless shelter, nursing home, tutoring/mentoring program, soup kitchen, pregnancy resource center and other organizations will greatly appreciate your assistance. There are many benefits to volunteering in the community. Volunteer work helps students expand their network and boost their social skills. One of the best ways to learn is through experience! Community involvement helps people feel better connected to their community.

~ It's never too early to start thinking about SUMMER CAMPS for 2013! Click here to see what camps are available in Illinois and nationally for students who are deaf and hard of hearing, families, as well as camps for KODAs (Kids of Deaf Adults). Registration has already started for some of the camps and some registrations are opening up soon! Be sure to check this site periodically as information will be updated when it becomes available.

~ May 31 - June 2, 2013 IDHHC Annual Statewide Interpreter Conference - President Abraham Lincoln Hotel Convention Center, Springfield, IL
For more conference information, go to IDHHC's conference page on its website at

~ The Institute for Parents of Preschool Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing will take place June 9-14. Click for the flier in English or Spanish

~ Save the Date!! The 5th Annual Tiger Kids Day is June 28, 2013 at the Bensenville Water Park. For more information contact [email protected] Register here:

~ The Ear Community presents a family picnic for families of children with Microtia and Atresia, Hemifacial Microsomia, Goldenhar Syndrome, and Treacher Collins on July 13, 2013 from 11-3. This picnic is an wonderful opportunity to meet other families in similar situations and to make new friends. Lunch is provided along with numerous activities. Hearing device companies will be represented as well as reconstructive surgeons, ENTs, audiologists, anaplastologists, and therapists. Come and enjoy a fun and free day out with your family. Please RSVP to Tina at [email protected] For more information visit:

~ Family Picnic an Early Intervention Family Event Saturday, July 20, 2013 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at Fort Frankfort Playground Located at Commissioners Park (west of Harlem Ave., north of Laraway Road) 22108 S 80th Ave Frankfort, IL 60423 What do you need to bring?

  • Lunch for your family, or $ for the concession stand
  • Sunscreen
  • Lawn chairs or blanket to spread out
  • Shade tents/canopies just in case
Odds and Ends...The Park has a "splash pool" that is $2 per child older than 2 years old (no charge for parents/guardians older than 21) if you wish to join in, that is open from 10:00-12:00 (there is a second session from 12:30-2:30). Swim diapers are required for those not potty trained. Admission is first come first serve; the limit is 60 patrons. There is a concession stand as well as washroom facilities at Fort Frankfort. No pets, alcohol , or grilling is permitted at Fort Frankfort. Questions? call Dan (708-829-9188); Jane (708-732-0143); or Jami (708-925-7173)

~ Registration is OPEN for this year's ISD Outreach August Conference 2013 on Monday, August 5th. Registration continues to be FREE and continuing education credits can be earned. Topics this year include:
  • Q&A for educational and community interpreters
  • Code of Ethics for interpreters
  • Educational interpreter role in behavior management and socialization
  • Topics for itinerant teachers
  • Advanced signing skills and self-assessment
  • Math & science signs
  • Transition services
  • Literacy & language development
  • Working with students who are deaf-blind
In the past, they have had representation from special education teachers, teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing, community interpreters, educational interpreters and a handful of other educational professionals. They would love to reach out more to regular education staff, school nurses and other staff that have students who are deaf/hard of hearing on their caseload, so please be sure to spread the word! People can register online by going to their Events page on the website or by clicking here. If you have any questions, please email your inquiries to [email protected] or contact her at 217-278-3550 (voice) or 217-383-0095 (VP).

Back to Top


  1. Upcoming Events
  2. Suggested by People You Know!
  3. Behavior Solutions and Raising Happy Healthy Kids
  4. 50 Simple Household Items That Help Your Child Become A Math Whiz
  5. Important Research About Early Learning
  6. Four Things All Educators Should Understand About the Dyslexic Brain
  7. Sign Language and Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  8. Children's Show - Dr. Wonder's Workshop - in Sign Language
  9. Family Resource Center on Disabilities
  10. In Our Library: Fill a Bucket: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Young Children (book)


Suggest a Digital Update Topic or Resource

ISRC Parent Newsletter Archive

Current Newsletter & Pinup

Digital Update Archive

Visit our Website

Yahoo Group for Parents of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing Kids


Suggested by People You Know!

Thank you Tory Burrows for sharing this from the A.G. Bell Association

WHAT A MOTHER WISHES PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT HEARING LOSS - Explaining your child's hearing loss to other people can be a challenge. Catherine Fries Vaughn shares her thoughts on hearing loss and teaching her daughter to find her own voice, advocate for herself, and be proud of all that she is.

MAKING THE TRANSITION TO A MAINSTREAM SCHOOL - Deciding to move your child from a specialized school to a mainstream school can be challenging for both child and parent. Here are some helpful tips so you can be proactive as your family makes this transition.

Back to Top

Behavior Solutions and Raising Happy Healthy Kids

Your children will change a lot as they grow and develop. Find out more about the physical, social and emotional, and speech and language developmental milestones to expect from kids, and get great expert advice on tackling the tough topics, dealing with discipline, ending the bedtime battles, and solving behavior problems like tattling, teasing, and talking back. See some examples below, or visit the main site at:
Big Kid:

"Frustrating as it is, it's normal for grade-schoolers to test adult guidelines and expectations. At this age, "defiance is about finding a way to assert yourself," says Susanne Ayers Denham, a professor of psychology at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. As your grade-schooler matures and learns more about the world around him, he develops his own opinions about relationships and rules (or adopts his friends' opinions). So don't be surprised if he tries to assert himself by defying you and your "stupid" directives. Unlike a younger child, though, your rebel-in-the-making probably won't have a fit when you ask him to do something he dislikes. But he may pretend he didn't hear you, or respond very s-l-o-w-l-y to your request. ("You mean, you wanted those socks picked up today?")"

Read more and what to do about it here:

Building Self-Esteem:
"Nurturing your child's self-esteem may seem like a hefty responsibility. After all, a feeling of self-worth lays the foundation for your child's future as he sets out to try new things on his own. "Self-esteem comes from having a sense of belonging, believing that we're capable, and knowing our contributions are valued and worthwhile," says family therapist Jane Nelsen, coauthor of the Positive Discipline series. "As any parent knows, self-esteem is a fleeting experience," says Nelsen. "Sometimes we feel good about ourselves and sometimes we don't. What we are really trying to teach our kids are life skills like resiliency." Your goal as a parent is to ensure that your child develops pride and self-respect - in himself and in his cultural roots - as well as faith in his ability to handle life's challenges (for a school-age child that may mean giving a dance performance for you)."

Look here for ten simple strategies to help boost your child's self-esteem:

Back to Top

50 Simple Household Items That Help Your Child Become A Math Whiz

Want to raise a child who loves math and is great at it? One of the easiest ways to do that is to fill your house with hands-on materials that encourage kids to play with numbers, puzzles, shapes and math concepts.

You can pick up items to encourage math skills at dollar stores, thrift stores, garage sales, and even for free outside. Here's 50 things to stock your house with in order to help your kids love math.

Back to Top

Important Research About Early Learning

The Key To Early Learning Is Talking
According to this article in the Opinionator blog of the NYTimes... "The key to early learning is talking - specifically, a child's exposure to language spoken by parents and caretakers from birth to age 3, the more the better. It turns out, evidence is showing, that the much-ridiculed stream of parent-to-child baby talk - Feel Teddy's nose! It's so soft! Cars make noise - look, there's a yellow one! Baby feels hungry? Now Mommy is opening the refrigerator! - is very, very important."
Read more here:

Mothers Can Significantly Improve Their Deaf Children's Learning Capabilities
"Mothers can significantly improve their deaf children's learning capabilities, one of the largest studies regarding childhood deafness and parental guidance in the nation concluded. According to the head researcher and psychologist, Alexandra L. Quittner from the University of Miami, mothers who are more sensitive to their deaf children who have cochlear implants, which help them hear, can speed up their children's ability to learn and develop language. This study's findings can be very useful in finding ways for children with hearing loss to better adapt to society by teaching them one of the most important skills, communication."
Read more here:

Back to Top

Four Things All Educators Should Understand About the Dyslexic Brain

1. Writing is a Three-Step Process

2. Dyslexics Struggle with Automated Processes

3. Memory? What Memory?

4. Dyslexics are Creatives

See the full story here:

Back to Top

Sign Language and Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

"This dissertation represents the first systematic study of the sign language of deaf children with autism. The signing of such children is of particular interest because of the unique ways that some of the known impairments of autism are likely to interact with sign language. In particular, the visual-spatial modality of sign requires signers to understand the visual perspectives of others, a skill which may require theory of mind, which is thought to be delayed in autism (Baron-Cohen et al., 1985). It is hypothesized that an impairment in visual perspective-taking could lead to phonological errors in American Sign Language (ASL), specifically in the parameters of palm orientation, movement, and location." ... "These results indicate that deaf children with autism are impaired from an early age in a cognitive mechanism involved in the acquisition of sign language phonology, though it remains unclear which mechanism(s) might be responsible."

Back to Top

Children's Show - Dr. Wonder's Workshop - in Sign Language

Dr. Wonder's Workshop is a children's program comprised of Deaf actors using sign language with captions. Each episode highlights a new lesson such as: Be Responsible, You are Special, Never Give Up. The episodes are listed in reverse order so that the most recent display first. If you'd like to start at the beginning go to page 2 and scroll all the way to the bottom. To date there are 16 episodes.

Back to Top

Family Resource Center on Disabilities

Registration is mandatory two days prior to the training. 312-939-3513 or [email protected] for additional information Tuesday May 7, 6PM-8PM

Navigating the IEP Process
11 E. Adams St. Ste. 1002 Chicago, IL 60603
Register Today!

Wednesday May 8, 10AM-1PM
Seis Principios de IDEA
11 E. Adams St. Ste. 1002 Chicago, IL 60603
Register Today!

Thursday May 9, 12PM-1PM
Destrezas Para una Abogacía Eficaz de Parte de Los Padres
Register Today!

Saturday May 11, 10AM-1PM
Transition to Post-Secondary Education
11 E. Adams St. Ste. 1002 Chicago, IL 60603
Register Today!

Back to Top

In Our Library

In Our Library: Fill a Bucket: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Young Children (book)

Summary: "Uses the metaphor of a bucket filled with good feelings show how easy and rewarding it is to express kindness, appreciation, and love on a daily basis."

Link to Catalog

**Remember our materials are free to borrow and will be mailed to you directly with return postage included. You are invited to take advantage of this extremely valuable resource. The library consists of an expanding collection of over 1200 items, including books, videotapes, audiotapes, test kits, and games related to deafness, deaf culture, sign language, audiology, mental health, behavior management, parenting, and administration. For more information or to request a specific item, please call ISRC at (847)559-8195 or (800)550-4772, e-mail us at [email protected], or visit **

Back to Top