RAISING A DEAF CHILD
As parents/carers you would be very eager to see that your hearing impaired child is able to achieve all his/her potential. The following are a few hints that prove to be very beneficial in raising your child to experience a holistic life.
– First and foremost you have to be realistic and be fully aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your child.
– Be informed to make the right choices.
– Find out who can support your child and work as a team with them.
– Form part of a parents’ group to share each other’s experiences and learn from them.
– Make sure that your child meets other hearing impaired children to identify with them too.
– Find out how hearing loss affects the way your child learns and sees the world.
– Teach your child how to be independent and assertive.
– Help your child to deal with his/her emotions and gain confidence in himself/herself and have self-esteem.
– Teach your child how to be safe at home and in public places.
– Look for resources that can give you information and help.
– Be up to date with hearing aid technology and assistive devices that can be useful at home and at school.
5 essential pre-verbal skills care-givers and professionals need to know about for early communication.
- Eye contact is needed to maintain social interaction between two people.
- Joint attention is crucial to understand language and concentrate on one activity.
- Imitation is necessary needed to observe or imitate speech or signs.
- Turn taking is essential for understanding of the rules of conversational turn taking.
- Breath control is vital to control the use of breath combined with mouth movements in producing speech.(http://speechmarkpub.blogspot.com.mt/2016/07/5-essential-pre-verbal-skills-parents.html)
HEARING IMPAIRMENT IN THE CLASSROOM
The following are points that parents should keep in mind when school starts. They should should contact the teachers in charge of their child’s class:
- Give them information about the device used by their child.
- Explain the needs of their child so that s/he can have preferential seating in class.
- Check the date of the IEP meeting. Prepare for the IEP by keeping notes of issues you want to discuss during the meeting. Attend the meeting and explain clearly the needs of their child.
- When their child is old enough to attend the IEP meetings, encourage him/her to attend. This helps the child to become an effective self-advocate.
- As their child moves up in school, help him/her to explain the use of his/her device. When the child enters secondary school, s/he can either prepare a PowerPoint presentation or bring in an expert to inform his/her peers about hearing loss and devices used by hearing impaired students. Models of devices (hearing aids, cochlear implants and FM systems) can be passed around the class for other students to inspect.
- Remember to keep spare batteries in the child’s school bag so that the child can still use his/her device in case the batteries die.
- Check if anything can be done to improve the classroom acoustics. As a parent, you may help by providing ideas and resources. The school management team can reduce reverberation in class by adding carpeting, posters and plants.
- Inform teachers that the hearing impaired child needs to look at the teacher’s face in order to understand instructions and explanations better.