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Education is key to make decisions

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On April 29, the assembly voted on AB 2072. This bill states that a brochure, given free to the state, will be passed on to parents when their infant fails the early-infant hearing screening conducted at the hospital. The brochure gives parents information on sign language, cued speech, cochlear implants, and other forms of language communication. This information helps parents make an informed decision regarding how to proceed when dealing with this birth defect. Hearing loss is the No. 1 birth defect, and California has more births than 42 other states combined. Because there is an opposition movement in the deaf community, the state has prohibited the distribution of this brochure. When our grandson was born deaf four years ago, we were only told he failed the test. All information and resources were researched by his parents. Nothing can be more frightening than to learn your child has a special need but given no information on the diagnosis. Who would think that keeping parents in the dark would be an option in 2010? Other states are passing out this information, and finally after several attempts, AB 2072 passed the assembly and will now go on to the Senate. While common sense dictates parents should be given this free material, the following assembly people voted against this bill: Mary Salas, Nancy Skinner, Cameron Smyth, Audra Strickland, Anthony Adams, and Wesley Chesbro. Fifteen other assembly people abstained or didn’t vote at all. Please contact your Senator to vote for this bill. Early intervention is the key to helping these children, and it will be the under-educated parents who will not be able to get the information that is so vital for their child’s success in school. Isn’t it amazing that we need a law for this?! Jeanie Simpson, Rocklin