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CODA 's Troy Kotsur Shares His Top 5 Tips for Parents Raising Deaf Children: 'ASL Saved My Life'

CODA 's Troy Kotsur Shares His Top 5 Tips for Parents Raising Deaf Children: 'ASL Saved My Life'

Troy Kotsur is using his personal experience to offer advice for raising children who are deaf.

The Oscar-winning actor and father, 54, appeared in a new episode of the "Dad Saves America" podcast alongside host John Papola to provide information about how hearing parents can best raise a deaf child.

Papola notes that around 11 million Americans are hard of hearing and around 1 million are functionally deaf, according to recent U.S. census data.

At nine months old, Kotsur's parents discovered he was deaf. The actor praises his father and calls him his hero for his dedication to learning American Sign Language (ASL) and being so involved in giving him a life similar to that of a hearing child's.

"On the surface, it would seem like an incredible challenge," Papola says. "But as Troy's life story proves, with the right mindset and resources, any parent can help their deaf or hard-of-hearing kids be set up for a full and flourishing life."

In the clip, Kotsur — who stars in the 2021 feature film CODA, which stands for Children of Deaf Adults — shares his top five tips for parents raising deaf children.

RELATED: Troy Kotsur Pays Tribute to His 'Hero' Dad in Moving Speech as He Makes History at 2022 Oscars

CODA’s Troy Kotsur Explains His Top 5 Tips for Parents Raising Deaf Children
CODA’s Troy Kotsur Explains His Top 5 Tips for Parents Raising Deaf Children

Dad Saves America/Emergent Order Foundation

RELATED: 'Dancing With the Stars' ' Nyle DiMarco Opens Up About Surviving Abuse and Becoming a Deaf Activist

5. Your Child Isn't Broken

"Dads typically like fixing things, but your deaf kid is not broken. Your deaf child is fine. We have so many ways to learn how to communicate. If you are considering a cochlear implant as an option, please don't ignore sign language. Give your child an opportunity to grow and develop their own identity in whatever way they choose. ASL and deaf culture are beautiful. I consider them a gift. Your deaf child is a gift. You're going on an amazing journey that will change your perspectives and show you a different world."

4. Create a Deaf-friendly Environment

"It's extremely important to set up a deaf-friendly environment in your home. For example, have closed captioning on your television, have a light flashing at the doorbell, have a vibrating and flashing alarm clock, have a flashing fire alarm. That is friendly for deaf children and that can save their lives in many cases. You can also set up a video phone so that you can chat and communicate with your child and so that your child can keep up with friends."

RELATED: See the Trailer for 'CODA' , About a Singing Teen Struggling with How to Support Her Deaf Family

CODA’s Troy Kotsur Explains His Top 5 Tips for Parents Raising Deaf Children
CODA’s Troy Kotsur Explains His Top 5 Tips for Parents Raising Deaf Children

Dad Saves America/Emergent Order Foundation

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3. Get a Hearing Dog

"You might want to consider training a dog. A dog is playful but barking can also inform someone that someone is knocking at the door. You can borrow the dog's ears — when the dog reacts, you'll know that something's going on. When you have friendly access, it will make your deaf child feel more safe, equally to what hearing people mention. And you can play with the dog, too."

2. Get Your Child Involved in Extracurriculars

"It's important to be involved in your child's life, whether it's athletics, the arts, outdoor activities. Just like hearing kids are able to do extracurricular activities, so can deaf kids. Don't be afraid to encourage them. It's important that you allow them to grow with their talent. Deaf kids can do anything, they just communicate in sign language, a different language."

1. ASL Saves Lives

"It's extremely important to learn American Sign Language if you have a deaf child because communication is vital. And it's so important that deaf children between the ages 0-5 have language acquisition just like their hearing peers are able to learn how to speak and acquire language. There's been a long history of language deprivation for deaf children so with ASL for communication, it prepares these deaf kids before they enter kindergarten. ASL saved my life."