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Sietske and Marc Koen have two deaf sons. Both have a cochlear implant.
Experiences of this family
"Guus is teaching his friends how to sign, and that makes him feel good."
"You notice he doesn't quite get everything, but his friends keep that in mind."
"Those Lotte & Max DVDs are amazing, for both parents and children. They help you learn really quickly."
"When the implants are off they're deaf, so then they have to be able to sign."
"Signing has gotten better over the years."
"Would he ever be able to hear music, or the rain beating against the window? That was quite important to me."
"When family counseling started, we were taking sign language classes."
"If you can't hear, you're deaf. I think 'very severely hearing impaired' is very weird."
"We've never decided not to do something because they're deaf. The audiologist told us: you can grow up to be old and happy with it."
"Now that I see how happy they are, I worry a lot less."
"Guus sometimes helps Sam if he doesn't sign something correctly."
"The CI's only break if it's raining heavily. But you can just walk in the rain with them."
"I learn all kinds of signs from Guus."
"It would be great, of course, if they could go to a regular school in the neighborhood. But they miss so much then."
"They have hearing friends now, down the street."
"I want to offer them both the deaf and the hearing world. So they can decide for themselves when they grow up."
"I have felt like we were missing help from within the deaf community. You mostly see hearing professionals."
"Your first thought is: the world is ending. But it's not ending, another world just opens itself up."
"We used an interpreter for Guus' birthday party. That was very useful."
"An interpreter is very useful, especially at the theater."
"At the deaf vacation, there's deaf parents with their children, and deaf children with their hearing parents."
"We run into all kinds of situations where we're forced to use sign language. That's quite exciting."
"I think it's good, learning sign language from both a hearing and a deaf teacher."
"They can really babble together in sign language."
"You have to sign, or you'll make your child unhappy."
"If I don't know a certain sign, I ask my son."
"The sign language classes evolve alongside your child."
"I had to sign in public for the first time -- that was quite a big step."
"When Guus was three years old we were taught sign language at home."
"Guus' first sign was MOMMY!"
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