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Bridging the Transition for Your Deaf Child & Teachers

Bridging the Transition for Your Deaf Child & Teachers


Summer is just now underway, but for parents of hard of hearing children, it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming school year.

They wonder if the school is equipped to ensure their child’s needs are met and like all parents, they want to provide their the child with every opportunity to thrive in school. Often, that means meeting with teachers beforehand in an effort to fill in any gaps or answer questions.

Filling in those gaps can mean a checklist or even a small binder prepared by parents for their child’s teachers. Here are a few tips for parents of hard of hearing children.

One of the most important considerations is making sure the school understands how their child’s processor and FM works. These devices, over the years, have eliminated one of the barriers for hard of hearing children, especially in a classroom setting. If the teacher is not sure how to use it, though, it defeats the purpose.

Device Maintenance

Make sure the teachers understand there are times when a deaf student must replace his batteries in his device. Usually, kids carry extra batteries in their backpacks or book bags. Reassure her your child knows how to quickly change the battery when necessary. Stress the importance of ensuring the processors or FM units do not get wet. Anyone with these devices know well the consequences of a damp device. In fact, some parents ask the teacher to make sure the device is taken out prior to time spent on the playground.

Explain to the teachers that your child can (or cannot) lip read, but that it’s not his primary source of communication. Encourage the teacher to include him when she’s asking questions of students; he only wants to be a part of the class. Provide specific information, such as whether he’s deaf in one or both ears, how advanced he is with his vocabulary and how being in front of the class can make a world of difference. Ask the teacher to not sit him near noise making devices, such as duct work, windows or even window air conditioners.

Connect the Dots

You might even use the analogy that your child’s hearing device is similar to another child’s eyeglasses. Encourage them to provide reading assignments ahead of time so that he can prepare as part of his daily homework.

Let them know, too, that visual aids are great tools and that you and your child spend time every evening going over what he learned that particular day. And speaking of visual aids, remind the teachers to turn on closed captioning on any films or videos they show in the classroom.

Finally, reiterate to the school and teachers that you are always just a phone call away and are always available to meet with them.

Donna is a professional writer residing in south Mississippi. With more than 15 years writing experience, she has written several e-books, countless newsletters and has provided content for more than 150 websites. She completed her first novel last year and is currently in the research phase for her second novel. She has worked with battered women for two decades as they seek safety away from their abusers. Many of these victims suffer hearing damage or hearing loss as a result of the abuse they endure. With this insight, she brings an interesting dynamic to the Hard of Hearing for Young People Foundation. Donna on Google+

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