Language is how we express our full humanity. And it's how we gain information beyond what our senses can tell us about the immediate environment. A firm foundation in a first language (which must be acquired before the sensitive period ends -- around 5 years old or earlier) supports not just many other cognitive activities (including being able to do mathematics and to read), but allows a person to communicate thoughts, make jokes, share fears and hopes, be eloquent, and on and on. Deaf children born to hearing parents need explicit help acquiring language, and if that is given through engaging parent and child in a shared reading activity that is fun and stress-free, they will not only both progress in signing but their relationship will flower in a way that shows the deaf child that the parent accepts their deafness. This leads to a confident identity -- and full membership in family and in humanity in general.