The most important function which gets affected due to hearing loss is the natural language acquisition and speech. However language development is vital as it is the basis of communication. It is the most important factor in the all-round development of a child. It is the basis of most learning, not only in the formal aspects of education, but also in the development of character, emotional state and social relationship of the children. The questions are ‘who should develop language and how it should be taught to the children’.
In order to answer both these questions the simplest thing is to recollect how hearing babies have acquired language. The hearing baby acquired or learnt it from the parents and the family members around them through constant exposure and interaction. Parents unconsciously teach and reinforce the language. It is an established fact that the hearing impaired child also has the same innate capacity to learn language as a hearing child but the reason that he has not learnt it, is because he has not heard the language around him.
Parents of a hearing impaired child may therefore interact and talk to him as naturally as they would do with hearing children. They should remember
Throughout the day there are plenty of ideal moments to give a hearing impaired child an opportunity to acquire language, these are: getting up, washing, bathing, dressing, undressing, cooking time, meal time, going out to the market garden or zoo, visiting friends, playing, going to bed etc.. These are the times when the phrases used have real meaning and so the parents could help develop vocabulary, meaningful language structures and communication skills in the hearing impaired child.
Toys and books are the most interesting things which would help parents to initiate conversation and also to provide language to the gestures the child uses while playing and browsing through the books.
While these activities are continuously going around at home parents should pay sufficient attention to the following:
Last updated on : 03/08/2013