oPt

OPT: Atfaluna Newsletter January, 2010

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News and Press Release
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"I noticed a difference between my daughter and her older siblings. She did not react with the sounds surrounding her. She did not answer my calls." Suzan added "I was traumatized when I discovered that my daughter was deaf. It was the first time for me to even think about deafness."

Eleven years ago, this was Suzan's comment when she discovered the deafness of her daughter Fida'a. Fida'a, a fourteen-year-old girl, with two of her younger siblings were born deaf. Suzan Banar, lives with her seven children in El Shejaeia, eastern area of the Gaza Strip; in a modest house containing only little basic furniture.

During the past years, Suzan has not been able to join any sign language (SL) training courses as a result of her inability to pay transportation costs to attend the sessions. Even though, she did not learn Sign Language, Suzan overcame any communication difficulties with her deaf older two children by using a random Sign Language. They used to have an isolated personality and were not interested in making relations with others. But the condition was not the same with her youngest deaf son Mohammed. Mohammed is a five-year-old active little boy who loves to play with others. The lack of interest of Mohammed's family members to communicate with him in addition to their inability to speak Sign Language made him depressed and irascible. Mohammed refused to respond to his mother's random Sign Language especially after learning Sign Language from Atfaluna Kindergarten. The little boy's attitude increased the tension in the house which affected all the family members.