Guide to Parents of Children with Hearing Impairment
Caring for a Child with hearing impairment
- Encourage your child to wear the hearing aid for all his/her waking hours.
- The child should be exposed to only one language until s/he develops his/her basic language skills (a second language can be introduced at the appropriate time)
- Face your child while speaking
- Talk to the child all the time in a natural manner and give him/her adequate time and opportunity to express himself/herself.
- Don't avoid talking to the child assuming that s/he will not understand.
- Encourage him/her to attend to you when you speak
- Your imitation of your child's utterances is extremely useful in encouraging him/her to speak.
- Talk to your child in simple short sentences.
- Encourage your child to imitate your speech/lip movements as it facilitates his/her attempts to speak.
How to help your child learn to talk
- Spend more time with your child
- Talk, Talk, and Talk with the child.
- Talk clearly, talk slowly, talk naturally and meaningfullly.
- Talk to him/her about everything in your surroundings as daily life situations provide good opportunities for your child to learn to speak.
- Label objects/situations in the environment as it helps the child to learn words.
- Repeat what you say meaningfully.
- Provide a need to talk, encourage him/her to talk.
- Reward your child's attempt to talk.
- Discourage others from talking for the child.
- Describe what you are doing while you are doing it.
- Become a kind of COMMENTATOR by narrating his/her activities. for example: If s/he is playing with a car, you might say "Oh, you have a car", "The car is big". "Now you are pushing the car". "There goes the car".
- Encourage him/her to ask questions.
- Use simple words and sentences.
- Use pictures and objects to teach words and sentences.
- Tell stories to the child
- Make sure that the child watches, attends and listens to you.
- Read aloud to the child
- Sing to and with the child
- Dance along with the child.
- Help him/her to become aware of sounds and noises in his/her surroundings e.g. voices, noisy games, door bell, pressure cooker, telephone ring, sound produced by animals etc.
"That is a dog... It says, Bow-Bow". S/He will enjoy watching your facial expression and hearing your voice as you imitate the sound.
Ask the child "What does the dog say?"
"S/He may try to answer by saying ‘bu-bu’ or-------. Encourage this vocalization by imitating it and repeating the imitations." (A smile, touch or caress will encourage him/her to imitate once more)
Similarly you can show him/her a cow, a cat or a crow and tell him/her to imitate that particular animal’s cries and action…. e.g.
A cow says: amma….
A cat says: Meow… meow….
A crow says: Kaa…. Kaa..
A crow says: Kaa…. Kaa..
- When the child is playing with toys, e.g. a car or a train or a set of block, tell your child. "Let’s drive the car. How does the car go? Burr…."
- Bring his/her attention to your voice by emphasizing on ‘Listening’.
- Mirrors can be used for encouraging vocalization and imitation.
- Encourage him/her to mix with other children.
- Provide the child with opportunities to talk
- Have him/her tell you stories.
- Take time to listen.
- Explain new words.
- Maintain a diary of what you are doing and what the child is achieving.
- Meet, talk to and share your experiences with other parents.
- Consult professionals periodically for guidance.
- Don’t compare him/her with his/her brothers and sisters and other children of his/her age.
- Don’t under estimate his/her abilities.
- Let your child do things by himself, let him explore the environment and learn.
- Don’t over protect or reject him. Don’t be inconsistent in your attitude.
- Don’t teach him/her too much at a time.
- Don’t exaggerate your lip and tongue movements while speaking.
- Don’t criticize your child if his/her speech is not perfect/clear.
- Don’t interrupt him/her while s/he is talking. Don’t be over demanding.
- Don’t over correct your child.
More than anything, remember that s/he is your child and like any other child needs your love and affection.
Source: Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped
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