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Going back to school can be nerve-wracking for kids, especially for those who have hearing loss or are deaf. No matter what obstacle your child is facing, it is possible for anyone to achieve anything their heart desires with the right support system in their corner. Keeping that in mind, here are some ways to help your child prepare to return to school this year.
- Meet his or her teachers before school begins. It’s always a good idea to introduce yourself to your child’s teachers before the school year begins. This way, you can discuss with each of them what will be best for your child and his or her needs, and how the teacher can help. You can also share any tips you may have, should the teacher not have any previous experience with deaf or hard of hearing students.
- Ensure he or she will have an adequate amount of support. Your child may need someone to take notes for them, someone to interpret what their teacher is saying, or simply an assistant to help them complete assignments in the classroom. Discuss this with the school prior to the new year beginning, as this will be very important to your child’s success. Without enough support, deaf or hard of hearing students can have bad grades and fail to reach their full potential. Who knows, their school may have a teacher of the deaf that can provide support on a daily basis, should your child need it.
- Purchase equipment that improves their ability to learn. There is a wide variety of tools available to help deaf or hard of hearing children in the classroom. Many microphones available will amplify the teacher’s voice while muting background noises; this will help your child learn how to read lips and understand what’s being said. Remember that with all equipment used, check and make sure it is fully charged the night before.
- Encourage extracurricular activities. Children who are deaf or hard of hearing often feel like outcasts, too different to be included in “normal” activities. This isn’t so, as there are so many different clubs and societies that would love to have your child as a member. This is a great way for them to make friends and feel a sense of being included with the rest. This also looks great on their college applications, showing that they don’t let their circumstances hold them back from enjoying life and school, and all that both have to offer.
- Keep a supply of spare batteries. If he or she doesn’t have rechargeable hearing aids, pack some spare batteries in their bag or locker, or leave with their support worker. You wouldn’t want to risk their batteries dying in the middle of class, leaving your child to struggle to learn in silence.
- Make sure they have a healthy balance of school and play. In addition to helping them maintain good grades, encourage them to make time for friends and other fun activities so they aren’t stressed about school 24/7.
- Encourage your child to try something new. If your child shows interest in something new, encourage them to try it. They may develop a passion for foreign languages, music, drama, etc., and end up finding something they’re truly passionate about.
Contact Lifetime Hearing Services.