Steps for Effective Teaching Children with Hearing Impairments

Children With Developmental Challenges 3(2+1)

Lesson 16 : Services for Hearing Impaired

Steps for Effective Teaching Children with Hearing Impairments

A hearing disability need not determine the outcome of a child's education, but it will determine the methods by which he can successfully master the subjects. Teaching a child with a hearing impairment takes patience and willingness to adapt instructional techniques to suit his disability. If the child has some hearing, the techniques may be used in conjunction with traditional teaching methods.

  1. Step 1: Learn to sign: the teacher must know the sign language first to teach a child with a hearing impairment in an academic setting.

  2. Step 2: Demonstrate the lessons with as many visual aids as possible. Learning is the process of the brain translating information in a way that the child understands the subject matter and can build upon it in future lessons. Young children benefit from hands-on math, science or reading visual aids that allow them to associate the lesson with a physical model such as an abacus, counting blocks, alphabet pieces and simple science experiments.

  3. Step 3: Position a hearing-impaired child in the front row and in a place where the lighting is good. Since these children often use lip-reading to supplement their learning, it is imperative that they have a clear view of your mouth as you speak.

  4. Step 4: Focus on reading skills before introducing more advanced lessons. Children with hearing impairments depend upon the ability to read quickly and retain the information. Even preschool children can learn to recognize letters and simple words in a written context when the parent or teacher uses sign language and lip-reading to reinforce the lessons.

  5. Step 5: Show captioned videos to older students with hearing impairments. Public schools offer captioned videos and they can be located at your public library, many of which are available through inter-library programs. In addition, captioning services can alter an existing video. Hearing-impaired children may benefit from the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP), available to registered members online (see Resources).

  6. Step 6: Use role-play to introduce and extend concepts. Acting out simple concepts reinforces the subject matter. Used in conjunction with visual aids, preschool and elementary-level children may find it easier to mentally process the lesson and master the concept.

Class room tips for teachers of deaf or heard of hearing children
Listed below are ways the teacher can address this issue and help foster a supportive classroom environment:

  1. Reinforce positive coping strategies (e.g. how to respond to teasing on the playground, what to say to an individual when they ask why the child wears hearing aids, etc.).
  2. Promote self-advocacy and activities that foster inclusion. A mainstreamed pupil may need more formal instruction on how to interact socially with his/her normally hearing peers.
  3. Support daily use of personal hearing aids, cochlear implants and other assistive listening devices prescribed for the student.
  4. Help the pupil understand his/her own hearing loss and provide an opportunity for the studentto share information with the class about hearing loss, and how his/her hearing aids, cochlearimplant and/or FM system works.
  5. Provide opportunities to meet other D/HH students on a regular basis (pen pals, internet, family field trips).
  6. Make sure to review safety and emergency procedures directly with the D/HH student. In the event of a fire or emergency situation, check all restrooms since many D/HH children may notbe able to hear the alarms.

The D/HH itinerant teacher can provide additional information or assist the mainstream teacherwith many of these activities.

Last modified: Wednesday, 11 April 2012, 2:04 PM