Sunday, November 6, 2016

Creating "repeat" opportunity for deaf child to pick language

A recent vacation to Thailand taught her lot of new words and experiences 
       Revisiting is an important tool for the children with hearing and speech delay disabilities. The revisiting helps them go back to the time the event occurred. Its a tool that helps them reinforce what they have been through earlier. The language associated would help them recall the event and that's only possible through using the vocabulary and expressions appropriate for that event. A normal child learns this normally as s/he keeps hearing this through the normal hearing. The repetition is happening naturally since parents and other friends around are talking about it, its falling on the ears and subconsciously the brain is "hearing" it. While the child is playing around , he still "hears' it. With a child with hearing aids, its limiting and most times you have to draw the attention towards it. The HA could ignore it due to various limitations which we are aware of. Hence consciously the recalling is done.
      I have done this very regularly and consciously when she was little. The brain gets automatically trained to do this. It was so normal for us to constantly talk about things happening around us. We never faced the dearth of subjects and discussions. Never got bored as we made it interesting. I learnt from Prisha as I started to learn from her point of view rather than enforce my ideas on her , limiting her creativity. We discussed the event many times hence "revisiting". The steps that work are simple.
1. I foresee and upcoming event.
2. I start to tell her about it using new words and vocabulary associated with it,
3.Start discussing and clearing her doubts.
4. ask her to repeat the order and encourage the new words, repeat if needed.
5. At the event start talking about it again. Use those new words again so its fixed in her brain.
6. Use more language associated with it. It may mean I am away from the crowd and family or friends but then its my priority.
7. Once she is settled with it, she goes around experiencing and fixing all that we discussed in real time. I am still around to help her, giving her priority over everything else.
8. Once event is done, we start to discuss again and see if we are using those words and new vocabulary and expressions.
9. See how much we are progressing on it, make changes or add what is forgotten or slipped.
10. Go and relate to all those who are around at home. Mindfully keep a watch on your child to see if s/he is using the words and expressions you have used earlier.
11. Without making it obvious add your bits to the conversation where the words and important parts are missing.
12. Correct the language, sentence structure, pronunciation, etc.
13. Ask them to create visuals of the event. Can be in a form drawing, digital medium, 3D artform, waste material recycling or even a song.
14. Display and show around your prized trophy.
15. Few days later, recall the event again and see if the words and tit bits of those are in memory still.
16. Most important don't get too busy for your child. If you dont have time for them , they cannot have language just from out of the air. Unless as a parent you are commited don't expect miracles.
      I hope these pointers will help you help your child. Please know that its a life style and you have to keep working on it. It seems hard and isolating but its not. If done well, you can balance your lifestyle with this work. When you see your child coming back with better language with ease and happy smiles, all this effort shall look small. I often talk to parents and demonstrate how I did it. Giving plenty of examples and ways of making it as a part of everyday life. In few years it becomes a way of life and easy to manage. talk about school, homework, birthday parties, weddings, funeral, vacations and everything else. Don't get disheartened. It sounds a lot of work but it isn't if you do it in the right spirit. I hope this is helpful. I am open to feedback and any help needed to understand this. This helped us immensely and I hope it helps you all too.

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