At DELTA, our mission is to support and empower parents of deaf children as they navigate the intricate journey of raising independent and resilient young individuals. Our recent session brought together a diverse group of parents, including those with deaf children aged 4 and 9 years, as well as DELTA trustees, who themselves are parents of grown-up deaf children. With shared experiences and a wealth of insights, our discussions were driven by the unique concerns and questions of the parents present.
The central theme of our gathering revolved around nurturing a child’s independence, both within the school environment and beyond. We understand that every child is unique, and their needs and challenges can vary greatly. Thus, our conversation organically flowed toward the critical importance of effective communication between parents and schools, especially during key transitional periods, such as changing classes or starting a new school year.
Here are some valuable tools and strategies we explored during our session:
- Meeting with Teaching Staff: Establishing direct communication with teachers allows parents to discuss their child’s specific needs and create a supportive learning environment.
- Deaf Awareness: We highlighted resources like Ed Rex’s short video, along with Connevans’ film, which vividly demonstrates what a deaf child hears with and without a radio aid in the classroom. Our deaf awareness presentation is readily available upon request.
- Home/School Communication Book: This tool fosters ongoing communication between parents and the school, ensuring that any concerns or progress updates can be shared easily.
One pivotal topic of discussion was the use and maintenance of radio hearing aids. While these aids are typically school-provided and stay on school premises, there are instances where parents can arrange for them to be taken home if the devices are insured. This can be incredibly beneficial for developing a child’s listening skills and spoken language, extending their learning beyond the classroom.
Our conversation also delved into the process of applying for Disability Living Allowance for deaf children, offering guidance on accessing support through the National Deaf Children’s Society. We aim to simplify this process, ensuring that families receive the assistance they need.
DELTA trustees present at the session also highlighted a wealth of resources and information available on our website, including the MESH guide, which can be instrumental in aiding parents in their journey.