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Delaware Families for Hands & Voices
June Newsletter


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Yes, that says "June"

OK, so it is July.  I will admit to some serious procrastination here.  The following editorial was hard to write, because it is an issue that I hate to think about, much less talk about, but better July than never.


I have heard enough in the news about child abuse this month to make me want to grab my kids and some disaster rations and go hide under the bed until they both turn 25. If you haven’t, I suspect you just haven’t been paying attention, and this is a topic to which folks in our community especially ought to be paying some extra attention. 


Hands & Voices Colorado Chapter is working with Harold Johnson, a professor at Michigan State University on the OUR Project, an initiative to Observe, Understand, and Respond to keep our children safe. Professor Johnson in his article “Child Abuse and Neglect: CA/N” quotes a study (Sullivan & Knutson, 2000) reporting that child abuse and neglect “is experienced by children with disabilities at a rate that is three times that experienced by their nondisabled peers.” Predators see these kids, our kids, as more vulnerable, and often they are. 

Hearing loss deprives children of incidental learning, picking up ideas and vocabulary by overhearing conversation not directed at them, which is a huge gap on topics that adults purposely avoid discussing in front of children such as sex and violence. As a result, our kids may be lacking essential vocabulary to report back to us when bad things do happen. 

They may also be unaware of the boundary between appropriate and inappropriate behavior when it concerns trusted adults in their lives. According to Parenting Magazine in their article “Tips for Child Sex Abuse Prevention” by Patty Onderko, “80 to 90 percent of abuse is committed not by strangers but by someone the child knows well—and possibly loves.” 

Many deaf and hard of hearing kids spend more time away from parents and with more adults during the day than they would if they did not have a hearing loss. Take a second to make a mental list of all of the teachers, physicians, therapists, and caregivers that cross your kids’ path in an average week. Nearly all of these adults are dedicated, honest, caring, and trustworthy, but I think recently we have been rather stingingly reminded that this is not always the case. 

Feel like you are being scolded by this article? Well, if you haven’t had a direct discussion about this with your children, then good, feel scolded. What should we do? If you want to protect your kids, you have to prepare them for the possibility. Above all, make sure they know that you are there to listen to them and to protect them. Tell them that if they do need to tell you about something you will believe them, and you will not be angry with them. Know the warning signs and investigate when a situation doesn’t feel right. Knowledge is power, and it is a great deal more practical than hiding under the bed. 

Need some help with what to say and how? Check out these great resources from the folks on the front lines, and make a commitment to sit down with your kids soon. I dare you to put it on your calendar before you delete this email. 

Hands & Voices Pages: 
The Colorado Pilot Project: OUR Children’s Safety: http://www.handsandvoices.org/resources/OUR

More on OUR Children's Safety:

Child Abuse and Neglect: Helping Parents Talk to Children: http://www.handsandvoices.org/resources/OUR/helping_parents.htm

Child Abuse and Neglect: Resources for Parents http://www.handsandvoices.org/resources/OUR/resources.htm 

Mentioned Above: 
Professor Johnson’s article “Child Abuse and Neglect: CA/N” http://www.dcmp.org/caai/nadh258.pdf

Parenting Magazine Family Safety Guide: Tips for Child Sex Abuse Prevention http://www.parenting.com/article/tips-child-sex-abuse-prevention?page=0,0


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Roller Skating Party

skatingjpgA big thank you to everyone who came out roller skating with us last month!  We gathered a group of 38 happy faces for an afternoon of fun and games at the Christiana Roller Rink.  Hope to see you all again real soon!

In This Issue:
  • Upcoming Events
  • Buy some great coffee!
  • Parents' Night Out
  • Editorial
  • Roller Skating


Events

Our next chapter meeting will be July 31 at 6PM at TLK Academy in Peoples Plaza, Glasgow.  Child care can be provided on request!  We have the complete meeting schedule for 2012 on our website.

Parents' Night Out August 4, 7-9pm.  register here: http://delawarefamiliesforhandsvoices.yolasite.com/parents-night-out-rsvp.php

Saturday, Oct. 20 8am-10am Flapjack Fundraiser at Applebee's in Middletown to benefit our chapter. Tickets will be on sale soon.


Meet our new fundraising partner, The Good Java Company!

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The Good Java Company in Lancaster, PA sells USDA Certified Organic Fair Trade Coffee.  It is a great product, and one you can feel good about.  


The coffee is available whole bean or ground in two delicious varieties: 100% Arabica Organic Colombian Coffee and 100% Arabica Organic Peruvian Coffee Swiss Water Process Decaffeinated.  


Delaware Families for Hands & Voices will receive $0.50 per 8 ounce bag our friends purchase.  In order for us to receive the donation, you must enter “Hands and Voices” in the sales code box at checkout.  


Thank you!


Parents' Night Out

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Book a sitter and meet us at Angie’s for games, food, and conversation without the kids. August 4, 7-9PM at the Millers’ house in Newark. We are asking each family to bring a snack or dessert to share. You will receive the address and directions when you register here: 
http://delawarefamiliesforhandsvoices.yolasite.com/parents-night-out-rsvp.php
Show us your Hands & Voices!
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We want to hear from you.  That's right, you! We would love to print your article, event, or resource.
Email Angie at DeHandsAndVoices@AOL.com
or reply to this newsletter.




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Delaware Families for Hands and Voices
TLK, Peoples Plaza
Newark, Delaware 19708
US

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