I am concerned about my child’s education. I want him to be successful educationally. Where do I begin?
Accept and acknowledge following facts. The meaning of the word success can be different for different individuals, can be different in different context. You define ‘success’ of your child within the framework of the strengths and weaknesses of your child. Don’t have unattainable goals but more importantly don’t underestimate you child.
Success can depend on several factors. Involvement of parents is one of the most important factors.
Tips for beginners: (For those parents who have recently come to know about the impairment of the child.)
Deal with your negative emotions like anger (Why me? Why my child?) helplessness (‘This is the end of happiness! Nothing can go right!’) or fear (What do I do now? What will happen to my child?).
You can do it. Most of the other parents have done it. Don’t waste time in blaming anybody for anything. Help yourself pass the phase of negative feelings quickly and positively. Don’t pamper your guilt or frustration and don’t let it grow.
Pull yourself and face life which has most probably become more challenging and more meaningful. ACCEPT YOUR CHILD AS HE/SHE IS. It is absolutely important, only then your meaningful education that of your child can begin.
Get all the relevant testing done
Try to know most of the important clinical detail’s about the nature, degree and type of hearing loss. Discuss it’s adverse effects on the child’s development and what you can do to prevent them. Ask queries and clear your doubts with the professionals with whom you are in contact. He/she can be a special teacher, an audiologist or a speech therapist
Talk to your child constantly
It will help him/her develop speaking skills. It will also help him/her psychologically and will keep him/her in touch with the world around. Communication is also important for the sense of security and belonging which are primary needs of any family.
Work at home
- Don’t leave education to the teachers or schools. You have a prime role to play in your child’s education. Understand and acknowledge it. Various activities can help in the development across of your child:
- Involve your child in routine household activities.
- Read story books to the child Take up activities for independent reading/writing.
- Play games especially like playing cards, ludo, scrabble, snakes and ladder etc which make the child think and communicate.Take studies regularly Help your child to make friends and socialize.
- Monitor your child’s progress. If you don’t find it satisfactory try other options, discuss with professionals and increase your qualitative and quantitative involvement.
The Actual educational plan can vary from individual to individual. Your child’s present age, nature/type of hearing loss, his/her previous educational experience etc. are various details we would like to have before we suggest anything. But, inspite of these details there are things you have to know:
- For any human child education is important. A hearing impaired child is no exception. In fact for him, education on is not only important but it is ESSENTIAL. Don’t let your hearing impaired child be untouched by education. He/she must go to school. There are various types of educational programmes available for a hearing impaired child.
- Earlier the better: Education for a non impaired child may begin after the third birthday but for a hearing impaired child, education of the child and his parents may begin months before that. Here, the goal of education is not only the fullest development of potential but is also to protect the child from adverse effects of hearing loss especially in the areas of psychological and communication development.
- Literacy forms the backbone of formal education. Educational achievements of your child heavily depend on his/her reading/writing skills. Put in special efforts to develop good reading /writing skills. Textbooks serve the purpose very well. But these are tuned to non-impaired children’s educational needs. These focus knowledge assuming that the child knows language. With the hearing impaired child one must work hard not only for knowledge goals but also for language goals. Therefore use plenty of reading material apart from the textbooks. These can include newspapers, magazines, story books, menu cards, visiting cards, manuals of toys/games/household objects, leaflets distributed on roads, letters received by you etc. These are a few of the things you can do. Once you start many more ideas will come your way. Do you still have the question ‘Where to begin’? we have given you plenty of options. As far as the question ‘WHEN to begin?’ we have only one answer to give – NOW!