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4 Ways Parents Can Make Learning Easier for Their Deaf Child

Today’s society is designed for people who have full use of their five senses. When your child is deaf, there will be more challenges with communicating and learning. These four tips will help you to devise ways for your child to learn, and you can even join in on many of these activities.

Early Intervention and Head Start Programs

Early intervention is a public program that is designed to bring children with disabilities into the education system as early as possible. The goal of early intervention is to identify communications disorders and disabilities such as deafness so that kids are not left behind their peers in the educational system. These programs are usually free and may take place over a half-day or full day of school. Many programs allow the parents to come in and work with their kids during the learning process. You will also meet with your child’s teachers and gain valuable insights on how to help your deaf child learn. Head start is a type of preschool program available to low-income families. Children with a communications disorder often have priority for entry into these programs. Head start is usually held in an elementary school and may take place over a half-day or full day.

Online Communication Disorders Programs

Online communication disorders programs are valuable resources that you can use individually and with your child in order to develop sound methods of communicating. These programs are advantageous because you can complete each segment at your own pace. This allows you to fit in a segment as you have time, around your work schedule and between caring for your child and taking care of your home. Many of these programs allow you to interact with the educator so your questions can be answered. Another great aspect of these online communication disorders degree programs is that you will be connected with other parents and caregivers of deaf children. You can learn different strategies and techniques from each other.

Learn Sign Language Together

American Sign Language, or ASL, is an important tool for communications for people who are deaf. You and your child can learn ASL together so that you can communicate. Learning ASL is accomplished in a similar way as learning any language. You can work one-on-one with an instructor, take a parent and child class or learn through an online venue. Starting ASL as early as possible will help your child to communicate basic needs with you. Even children who are not deaf can benefit from learning ASL. Be sure to include every member of your household in the ASL education process. Siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents and even babysitters will benefit by being able to communicate with your child who is deaf.

Try a Variety of Learning Techniques

A child who is deaf is not necessarily cognitively impaired. Each child, deaf or not, will have a unique learning style. While your child’s style may not be through hearing, it is important to explore a wide variety of learning techniques. Many young kids enjoy learning through hands-on activities, such as digging in the dirt or going to a science museum. Use ASL to help your child learn the names of what you discover. If your child is a visual learner, books and videos with closed-captioning or ASL performed on the side may be helpful.

Your child who is deaf will benefit from exposure to many learning options. Getting a head start in the education process will help. Finding communications experts and other experienced parents of deaf children can also make learning easier. You and your child will both benefit from each of these straightforward and affordable learning and educational strategies.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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