Category "Children"

2Dec2015

I had such great feedback from my recent post on my hearing impairment that I thought it would be a good idea to take this subject further.

The National Deaf Children's Society have some wonderful tips for communicating with a deaf child - I think they give us all something to think about and are so useful for parents, teachers and anyone that may come into contact with a child who is deaf or hard of hearing.

How to communicate with a deaf child:

Do:

  • Speak clearly and naturally. Try to use an expressive face.
  • Get a deaf child’s attention before you start speaking. Try waving, knocking a table or tapping their shoulder lightly.
  • Face a deaf child when you’re talking. Try to get down to their level if possible and always leave enough room for the deaf child to see your face clearly.
  • Use visual cues, where possible. Point to what you’re talking about.
  • Make it clear what the topic of conversation is – and let the deaf child know if it’s changed.
  • Stand with your face to the light.
  • Use whole sentences to help a deaf child pick up clues to what’s being said
  • Group conversations can be difficult for deaf children.  Try to keep a deaf child involved, and avoid all speaking at once.
  • Ask a deaf child to repeat what you’ve said if you’re not sure if they’ve understood.

Don't

  • Speak too slowly or shout – this will distort your lip patterns.
  • Move your head or walk around while you’re talking. Speech movements can easily be missed.
  • Have lots of noise on in the background like a TV or washing machine. Hearing aids amplify all noises, not just your voice.
  • Take forever to get to the point. Avoid rambling.
  • Cover or put anything in your mouth while talking. Eating or smoking while talking is a definite no-no.
  • Stand with your back to a window – this can turn your face into a shadow and make it harder to lipread.
  • Make a deaf child lipread for too long without a break. Lipreading involves a lot of concentration and can leave deaf children feeling tired.
  • Give up. If stuck, try explaining in a different way or writing it down. Or if you have a mobile to hand, text it on your screen.

Remember – every deaf child and young person is different and deafness can range from mild to total.  Some deaf children may sign, some may lipread, some may listen and some may speak. Some may do all these things. Always ask how they prefer to communicate.

14Oct2015

Over the years I have worked with children as private clients with issues as diverse as:  mental, physical, emotional & sexual abuse; low self-esteem, fears and phobias, poor concentration, nightmares, nail biting, bed wetting, grief and bereavement, behaviour disorders, eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, image problems, stress and  other mental health problems.

I was invited as one of two psychotherapists to set up the pilot project in Liverpool of A Quiet Place (run by The Chieron Project & Liverpool University) to enable school children from 4-16 to have a place to go to within their school when they need to deal with emotions or be listened to.

This was very challenging and rewarding work and over the years we helped hundreds of children dealing with very difficult emotions and situations.  By the time I left, we had Quiet Places in a number of primary and secondary schools all over the city and in other schools around the country.  And we didn’t just work with the pupils, but supported the parents and staff too with counselling and massage.

In recent years I have gone back to working part time as a college lecturer with young adults (14+), developing and building self esteem and confidence.  Having grown up with very low esteem and feelings of inadequacy, I understand how important this work is.

What I love to see is how my clients and students grow and develop and I am often touched when they get in touch to let me know how their lives are going and what they are proud of.

That’s what it’s all about.  That’s why I do it.  That’s why it’s so important for them to know that we care.

If you are helping your child with one of the issues above, I hope that you can find help and support here. Do please feel free to ask questions and I will do my best to help you.

Share the Magic!: If you have found this blog post helpful please pass it on.  We want to help as many children, parents, families and schools as possible.  Thank you x