Do You See What I'm Saying?
Renata Bursten, Dragonfly Staff
Children with hearing loss and the play environment.
Children who have hearing impairments need extra accommodation in a preschool setting to avoid becoming confused and feeling left out. Different children will need different accommodations, but in general:
1. Teachers should offer visual and physical cues along with the verbal directions they offer to the group.
2. Help the child explore objects as the group is discussing them. For example when telling a story about fruit, bring the real fruits to the group.
3. Allow the child enough time to respond to directions and questions.
4. Help the child compensate for their hearing loss by encouraging the use of other senses. Remove visual barriers in the environment.
5. Pick a quiet area for small group activities if the child has trouble filtering background noise.
6. Always communicate at eye level facing the child.
7. If the child us using Signs or gestures, recognize and reinforce them. Try responding by putting the gestures into words. This helps the other children learn the child's vocabulary.