don't live with them. I've never really had that experience. My only chance to interact w/ young deaf/HOH kids came at the preschool level, and either at the private school my children have attended here, or at the public school system we left that had an outstanding oral/AVT program. Those kids for the most part have been implanted/aided at a very young age, and received intensive therapy early on. There were a few exceptions (where conversation was very difficult for someone not familiar w/ the child on a day-in, day-out basis) but I think those examples tend to fade over time. In addition, one of those exceptions made a change prior to Kindergarten and pursued a different path, which is great that he had parents open to looking at where he was at, and what he most comfortable w/ communication-wise.
We are now carpooling with an awesome family whose child is a year older than Trey. He has been at a total communication school, and is aided but his parents would like him to be a CI candidate. That said, he is profound in one ear, and moderate-severe in the other, so I'm not sure where the issue lies (in terms of implantation- they were told he wasn't really a candidate which I SO dont' get, if it is what is desired by the family? I drove him home today and he is just the cutest child. He really doesn't know me well, so I tried to engage him in conversation early and often (w/ lots of smiles in between). It was really hard- I probably understood about 50-60%...... But, I'm so glad to get the opportunity to chat w/ him. Trey is every bit as hard to understand (I'm sure!!!) but being his mom, I get 90% of it. When you're not around the child enough to learn the lingo, it's harder. Totally worthwhile, but difficult. I am thankful that there were teachers, therapists, FRIENDS, and parents of friends who were (and are) willing to make a bit of extra effort early on w/ my children. The effort definitely pays off, but it's definitely more work to try to engage.
My kids (especially the girls) had a large group of friends to draw from, whose parents made every effort w/out mentioning the times they just didn't get it. And I know there were those times!
Thanks to all for investing in my children, and for the willingness to 'guess' some of the time. I guarantee the kids did not notice when you missed what was said, but they definitely noticed that someone was listening :)