Saturday, August 22, 2009

Kids of deaf parents find new friends at Pittsford camp

Source Link - Kids of deaf parents find new friends at Pittsford camp

Connor Hamilton learned sign language when he was 3 years old — out of necessity.

Connor, now 8, needed to be able to communicate with his parents, who are deaf.

This week, he found himself among other hearing children who share that common bond. The five-day Camp for Children of the Deaf Adult, which ended Friday, was held at the Pittsford Community Center.

"You get to make more friends and you can talk to each other because you have some of the same stories," said Connor, of Chili, a third-grader at Florence Brasser Elementary.

The camp's 16 children, who ranged in age from 5 to 10, played games and activities and discussed their similar experiences. Almost every child there had two deaf parents and all of them knew how to sign.

They told stories and joked about some of intricacies of having deaf parents, such as always seeing them on a video phone or using pagers to keep in contact with each other.

"When you get together and see other kids that are dealing with the things you are facing, you don't feel odd," said Ashley Meyer of Pittsford, who started the camp.

"It is tremendous for their confidence."

Meyer, who also was born to deaf parents, attended a similar camp 12 years ago.

Susan Hurwitz, 10, said she enjoyed the camp. She was one of the few campers who had only one deaf parent, her mother.

"It was great meeting new kids because they are the same as you and it's nice to see that," said Susan, of Pittsford, a fifth-grader at Allen Creek Elementary.