Deaf children who can explain their communication needs to others from early on, will have an easier life. Parents need to give their child the self-confidence to do this, maybe through practice or role-play. Once the child knows to tell people how they hear and communicate when they first meet (you can do this together), everyone will be more understanding.
Make A Good First Impression
Positive first impressions set the tone for how other people will view and react to the child. A child who is relaxed in themselves (self-confident), can better manage sticky communication situations like having to repeat missed words. Similarly, their listener is likely to be more accepting of any extra effort required to listen. As an adult, this approach works for me in loud environments, and when my situation has to be quickly explained.
Play The Kids At Their Game
In primary school meantime, any enquiries about my hearing-aids were fielded with the reply, “they help me hear better, like X wears glasses”. Older kids who asked “what’s it like being deaf?” were told it’s like watching TV with the sound off, or hearing a radio far away.
Not every kid believed I was deaf, in which case they were asked to mouth a sentence for me to lip-read and relay back to them. That usually did the trick. Lip-reading was also useful to my team-mates on the sports field and badminton court. Unknown to the opposition, the tactics discussed before a match could be eavesdropped on, and countered as relevant.
Leave a Reply