It’s never too early to start teaching deaf children their first word, or words.
One approach when your baby is playing, is to identify what they’re looking at, and to tell them the name of the item.
This teaches your child to link items to words, and is a key part of their early language development.
Watch for a signal that they want something if they look at an item, then look at you, before looking at the item again.
If this is happens, you can point to the item, then look at your child and back to the item. Next, tell your child the item’s name and give it to them.
The Communication Triangle
This ‘communication triangle’ is a breakthrough in your child’s progress as it shows they can link items and words.
You’ll have to repeat item-and-word match sequences for your child to learn the word, but your perseverance will pay off.
For best results, keep it simple early on by focusing on your child’s everyday items, like ‘cup’, ‘teddy’, ‘doll’, ‘ball’, ‘book’, or ‘rattle’.
It doesn’t matter where this process takes place: sitting on the floor with your child, while they’re in a high-chair, or a buggy – whatever suits you.
Remember, children need to absorb a certain amount of language before producing their own words, and deaf children are no different.
Over time, they’ll learn to see you as a source of new words, and depending on their physical abilities, may bring items for you to name.