Parents in general are often confused about how
to raise their children. Parenting is a big responsibility and for
those who are keen to do a good job, doubts and queries are part of
the game. Parents of a hearing impaired child are no exception. In
fact, they have more doubts and worries but mind you they also can
have more challenges and more number of happy moments.
purpose of this interaction is to discuss some of the common doubts
parents have been reported to have bumped into suddenly. . We intend
to answer all your questions or clarify all your doubts . But many a
times life is quite complex. There are no straightforward or simple
answers to many of our questions. Many a times the answers are so
simple that we fail to recognize them. Come then, let us interact
and learn to face life in a better way.
Do you have any of
these doubts ?
Remember , there are many things beyond your
control and you can do nothing about it. But there are many more
things you CAN do.
||I AM CONCERNED ABOUT MY CHILDíS
EDUCATION. I WANT HIM TO BE SUCCESSFUL EDUCATIONALLAY. WHERE DO I
|| CAN MY CHILD STUDY ?
|| WILL MY CHILD SPEAK
|| WHAT WAY EDUCATION WILL HELP MY CHILD IN
HIS/HER FUTURE ?
|| DO THESE CHILDREN HAVE SEPARATE
TEXTBOOKS, CURRICULUM OR EXAMINATION BOARDS ?
|| AS A
PARENT, WHAT IS MY ROLE IN EDUCATION OF MY CHILD WITH HEARING
|| WHAT EXACTLY DO I DO TO ENSURE EDUCATIONAL
ACHIEVEMENTS OF MY CHILD ?
|| WHAT WAY IS IT EDUCATIONALLY
DIFFERENT TO HAVE A HEARING IMPAIRED CHILD
acknowledge following facts.
The meaning of the word success
can be different for different individuals, can be different in
different context. You define `successí of your child within the
framework of the strengths and weaknesses of your child. Donít have
unattainable goals but more importantly donít underestimate you
Success can depend on several factors. Involvement of
parents is one of the most important factors. *For more information
Click on `ROLE OF PARENTS IN EDUCATIONí
Tips for beginners:
(For those parents who have recently come to know about the
impairment of the child.)
Deal with your negative emotions
like anger ( Why me ? Why my child ?) helplessness (`This is the end
of happiness! Nothing can go right !) or fear (What do I do now ?
What will happen to my child ?).
You can do it. Most of the
other parents have done it. Donít waste time in blaming anybody for
anything. Help yourself pass the phase of negative feelings quickly
and positively. Donít pamper your guilt or frustration and donít let
Pull yourself and face life which has most
probably become more challenging and more meaningful. ACCEPT YOUR
CHILD AS HE/SHE IS . It is absolutely important, only then your
meaningful education that of your child can begin.
the relevant testing done
Try to know most of the important
clinical detailís about the nature, degree and type of hearing loss.
Discuss itĎs adverse effects on the childís development and what you
can do to prevent them. Ask queries and clear your doubts with the
professionals with whom you are in contact. He/she can be a special
teacher, an audiologist or a speech therapist.
Talk to your
- It will help him/her develop
speaking skills. It will also help him/her psychologically and will
keep him/her in touch with the world around . Communication is also
important for the sense of security and belonging which are primary
needs of any family.
Work at home
education to the teachers or schools. You have a prime role to play
in your childís education. Understand and acknowledge it. Various
activities can help in the development across of your child
||Involve your child in routine household activities.
story books to the child
- Take up activities for independent
||Play games especially like playing cards, ludo,
scrabble, snakes and ladder etc which make the child think and
- Take studies regularly
- Help your child
to make friends and socialize.
||Monitor your childís progress. If
you donít find it satisfactory try other options, discuss with
professionals and increase your qualitative and quantitative
The Actual educational plan can vary from
individual to individual. Your childís present age, nature/type of
hearing loss, his/her previous educational experience etc. are
various details we would like to have before we suggest anything.
But, inspite of these details there are things you have to
|| For any human child education is important. A hearing
impaired child is no exception . In fact for him, education on is
not only important but it is ESSENTIAL . Donít let your hearing
impaired child be untouched by education. He/she must go to school.
There are various types of educational programmes available for a
hearing impaired child. Click on EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMES for more
|| Earlier the better: Education for a non impaired
child may begin after the third birthday but for a hearing impaired
child , education of the child and his parents may begin months
before that. Here, the goal of education is not only the fullest
development of potential but is also to protect the child from
adverse effects of hearing loss especially in the areas of
psychological and communication development.
forms the backbone of formal education. Educational achievements of
your child heavily depend on his/her reading /writing skills. Put in
special efforts to develop good reading /writing skills. Textbooks
serve the purpose very well . But these are tuned to non-impaired
childrenís educational needs. These focus knowledge assuming that
the child knows language. With the hearing impaired child one must
work hard not only for knowledge goals but also for language goals.
Therefore use plenty of reading material apart from the textbooks.
These can include newspapers, magazines, story books, menu cards,
visiting cards, manuals of toys/games/household objects, leaflets
distributed on roads, letters received by you etc. These are a few
of the things you can do. Once you start many more ideas will come
your way. Do you still have the question `Where to beginí ? we have
given you plenty of options. As far as the question `WHEN to begin
?í we have only one answer to give - NOW !
2. CAN MY CHILD STUDY
Of course he/she can
! if your child has additional impairment then he needs to undergo
several other tests and you will have to set your goals differently.
Otherwise our response to your question can be `why canít he/she
study ?í There are several types of adverse effects of hearing loss
. The primary and the worst among these are itís effects on
development of speech and language. The problems of communication
especially with speaking and listening (understanding ) are so
obvious and visible that it gives the impression that the child is
unable to do many things which he/she can actually do. Studying is
one of these things. There are various educational programmes
available for the hearing impaired children. (click on `Educational
Programmesí for more details). Appropriate option has to be selected
by parents and professionals.
There can be various shades
of this question which are:
3. WILL MY CHILD SPEAK ?
This is one of the most common questions that the
professionals come across . It is quite natural that parents are
concerned about speaking ability of the child. Generally, speaking
is considered to be the ability which distinguishes human beings
from the other animals. Speech not only helps us communicate our
ideas but it also links us with the society. Moreover, the inability
of the hearing impaired child to speak clearly may lead to teasing
by other children. Parents are concerned about it and hence the
question` will my child speak ?í Yes your child can most certainly
speak but there are a few buts and ifs. This is so because the
success of a hearing impaired child in general (which includes
ability to speak) depends on several factors. If these factors are
present only then higher achievements can be expected.
Early identification and intervention
|| Early and appropriate
amplification (hearing aid) which is used continuously and with
|| Absence of other additional handicaps
Early and ongoing professional help
|| Adequate socio-economic
status of the family
|| Well informed and motivated parents with
adequate time and energy for home training
|| Ample exposure to
speech and language at home and at school.
Deaf are not dumb
! There is nothing wrong in the speech organs (like tongue teeth
etc. )of the hearing impaired individual. But since he/she is unable
to listen to what others are speaking, the child is unable to speak.
With hearing aids and training hearing impaired children too can
speak . How fast and how quick your child can speak, heavily depends
on various factors given above but most importantly, it depends on
you. As parents you can do wonders with your child. Several parents
have done it.
We have said two things, speech is important
for human beings and our hearing impaired children can attain it.
But we also said that speech skills are attainable only in the
presence of conducive conditions. What if due to some reasons your
child has failed to attain it ?
Itís NOT the end of the
world. You must have come across several hearing impaired
individuals who do not have intelligible speech but are leading a
fully functional, personal and social life. Itís nice that you are
concerned about speech but also focus on language. Also be concerned
about your childís reading and writing skills.
4. WHAT WAY EDUCATION WILL HELP MY
CHILD IN HIS/HER FUTURE ?
Role of formal education in the modern world is
second to none. Education facilitates the development of an
individual - development that touches all the personal and social
aspects of human life. This needs no further clarification since we
all agree to it . Parents generally take education as a means of
providing a vocation to their child. Do you think the role of
education is only limited to providing a vacation ? More subtly,
education also gives confidence , mental strength and scientific
temperament. It opens doors to the world of knowledge. An individual
with hearing impairment is no exception to all this. He too needs to
be touched by education. But education has much more to offer to a
hearing impaired child than to any other non-impaired child. With
non-impaired children most of the early development whether
-personal, social, intellectual and language - is quite automatic
and spontaneous. In case of hearing impaired children deprivation of
language can have adverse effects on various aspects of development.
Education works towards preventing these adverse effects or at least
helps lessen their impact. Education for the hearing impaired has
knowledge as well as language goals. This is necessary for all-round
growth of the child. Moreover, there are chances that parents too
get guidance i.e. from the special educators. With the help of such
guidance, home training can lead to better results. To conclude,
education will not only take good care of your childís future but
will also empower you as a parent.
5. DO THESE CHILDREN HAVE SEPARATE TEXTBOOKS,
CURRICULUM OR EXAMINATION BOARDS ?
No, absolutely not. It is a common misunderstanding
among people that hearing impaired students use different textbooks.
Hearing impaired children also have to read same History, Geography,
Science or Mathematics. Hence there is NO NEED of different
textbooks. However, education for the hearing impaired especially in
a special school differs in several aspects like:
||mode of communication
between knowledge and language
||structure of a classroom including
||teacher student ratio etc.
6. AS A PARENT, WHAT IS MY ROLE IN
EDUCATION OF MY CHILD WITH HEARING IMPAIRMENT ?
An educated parents does not have to be
told about general importance of his/her role in the upbrining of
the child . We all know and fully accept it. But is the case
different with a child with impairment. We believe your role is much
more crucial if you have a child with hearing impairment. Please
click on ĎRole of Parents in Education of the Hearing Impairedí for
more details. At this point we would just introduce you to the
following diagram which emphasises the fact that a hearing impaired
child can achieve greater heights only if parents, professionals and
community play their role positively and interactively. As a parent
you will have to initiate such collaboration with community on one
hand and professionals on the other.
7. WHAT EXACTLY DO I DO TO ENSURE EDUCATIONAL
ACHIEVEMENTS OF MY CHILD ?
It is easy to say that parents should play their role
positively but what does that exactly mean ? Following are the
specific tips for parents to enhance the quality of home training
the appropriate household activities that can be effectively used
for talking to a child ?
||Preparation for cooking
||Arranging dining tableCleaning dining
||Folding clothesChanging bed sheets
||Keeping old news
papers, magazines away
||Carrying out small purchases. etc. etc.
The list is
never ending and we cannot think of a single activity which cannot
be used for talking to the child.
b) Specific time devoted to
home training. Talking to your child through the routine activities
is important but not adequate. You will have to keep some time aside
everyday to spend with your child. During this time you give
individual attention to your child. Use this time
||taking reading activities
||playing games including language
||making scrap book
||reading newspaper, magazines
Prioritize your time and activities. You are basically
busy because of your duties and responsibilities in the home and
outside. You may therefore find it difficult to spare time for your
child. But it is essential whether you are a mother or a father that
you spend at least an hour with your child. This is apart from the
time you give to satisfy your childís routine needs like feeding,
bathing, etc. For this, we suggest that priorities of routine
activities have to be straightened. What is important and essential
can become compulsory part of routine activities. Spending specific
and special time for your child HAS to be part of your daily routine
- as essential as cooking or going for your job. If you understand
this you WILL BE ABLE TO SPARE TIME.
8. WHAT WAY IS IT EDUCATIONALLY DIFFERENT TO
HAVE A HEARING IMPAIRED CHILD
It is very important for you parents to know about
the efforts of hearing loss on the development of your child.
Biologically hearing loss merely means inability to listen. But
inability to listen is not as simple or straight forward as
inability to see. Listening is essentially linked with speaking (we
learn to speak what we keep hearing ) . The primary and the worst
adverse effect of hearing loss therefore is considered to be on
communication skills in general and on language in particular.
Hearing impaired children, especially those who have profound
hearing loss in both the ears since birth - find it difficult to
acquire language as automatically, effortlessly and swiftly as any
other non impaired child. Because the non impaired child has
acquired language early in life, it can enter the school and can
readily face formal education. It is this language which is not
adequately developed in a hearing impaired child that creates
multiple problems in its life. It is the lack of language skills
that turns hearing loss into hearing
Inadequate language has its adverse effect on
all aspects of human development. This may include intellectual,
educational, social, personal, emotional and vocational development.
In India where network of services is poor and awareness among
society is less, hearing impairment may also affect family life,
interpersonal relationships, recreational avenues etc. From
educational point of view, all this is very important since all
these areas of human functioning are closely linked with education.
As a parent you must try to prevent hearing loss turning into
hearing handicap. Always remember.
||Hearing loss affects
language development adversely.
||Inadequate language skills turn
hearing loss into hearing handicap by adversely affecting various
aspects of human functioning.
||Parents professional and community
together can help lessen the impact of hearing loss. It is quite
difficult but NOT IMPOSSIBLE.
||Ensuring age appropriate language
development is the key to all problems.