How can Deaf Awareness Make your Child Smarter?

Written by MiriamSpall on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 12:08

Have you ever been in the situation where your mother or relative who’s hard of hearing has been left out of a conversation and feeling isolated? Would you know what to do if you came across someone with hearing aids and being too shy to start up a conversation for fear of not being understood?

Believe it or not this is a common occurrence in fact 9 million people in the UK are deaf or hard of hearing; although hearing technology helps,  they still have to contend with background noise so they rely on a number of factors to help them such as lipreading, sign language and visual cues.

So can deaf awareness make your child smarter?

Teaches them to be expressive - Body language is very important as deaf people rely on visual cues to understand what is being said.

Teach them valuable social skills - Such as empathy,  patience and understanding

Children that deaf aware are smart-sensitive and tend to encourage social inclusiveness. This will also benefit them as they grow and head off to university and join the workforce, this will be a skill that will last them a lifetime.

Imagine what difference it would make if deaf awareness and sign language was part of the national curriculum. Children would have the confidence to approach and communicate with other deaf children or relatives,  in the school playground and at home.

A group of parents in Suffolk are campaigning to raise deaf awareness at schools and local services.  What this space!

In the meantime, here are some tips you can share with your children:

  1. Ask how they communicate. Some deaf children speak, some use sign language, and some use both

  2. Get their attention. Try waving or tapping their shoulder lightly.

  3. Make lipreading easy. Speak clearly and naturally with your mouth uncovered. If possible, stand with your face to the light.

  4. Speak one at a time. Group conversations can be difficult for deaf children.

  5. Face them when you’re talking. Try to get down to their level and make sure they can see your face clearly.

Source: NDSC Deaf Awareness

Do you know a deaf child in the area, join the IDDCS ( Ipswich and District Deaf Children's Society) Facebook group here


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