Published Tue, Nov 27, 18. Written by Teresa Anderson.
As just a one year old, Gretchen was already making the sign for milk and eat to tell her parents when she was hungry. Gretchen is the child of Raymon and Maricel, two of IDEA’s former deaf students who eventually got married and had two kids. Their first child was born with hearing ability, but their youngest, Gretchen, was born deaf. Having two deaf parents, Gretchen had the opportunity to learn sign language at a very young age.
Gretchen enrolled in one of IDEA’s kindergarten classes on the island of Bohol. At only 5 years old, she already uses sign language like a champ! Most of Gretchen’s classmates have hearing parents, so they start off knowing very little sign language. This puts Gretchen ahead of her class in language development and overall knowledge. She soaks up lessons like a sponge! But, there is something else special about Gretchen. Her parents dropped her off at the IDEA dormitory and she immediately felt comfortable in her surroundings and her ability to communicate.
Raymond and Maricel don’t worry about their daughter’s future because they have seen what this education and community brought in their own lives. They know Gretchen will learn true independence and will be in good hands at IDEA.
Gretchen is a second generation IDEA student and we couldn’t be happier! Her family is a wonderful example of what we hope to achieve. Acceptance of a deaf child within the family, early learning opportunities, and confidence in knowing she is not alone. Attending an IDEA school not only changes the course of their life, but the lives of their future family as well.