Starting nursery is a big step for any child, but it can be particularly daunting for parents of pre-school age deaf children. There are a lot of factors to consider and questions to ask to ensure your child’s needs are being met in a new environment. Recently, four parents of pre-school age deaf children, a DELTA Ambassador, and DELTA trustees gathered for a session to discuss this important topic.
The session began with a presentation by retired Teacher of the Deaf, Liz Rothwell, about how and what to communicate to your child’s nursery before they start. Liz emphasized the importance of familiarizing yourself with the nursery environment and meeting and talking to all the staff involved with your child before they start. It’s also essential to be aware that staff might be unsure of what they need to do, and demonstrating to staff that you communicate naturally with your child can be helpful.
Another key aspect is getting staff familiar with your child’s hearing aids and making sure they are working while your child is at nursery. Explaining the role of your child’s teacher of the deaf is also crucial, as well as making staff aware of the difficulties presented by background noise. It’s also important to maintain regular communication with your child’s key worker.
After Liz’s presentation, there was a general discussion among participating parents, focusing on what they wanted to talk about and sharing their own experiences. One common theme that emerged was the importance of finding a nursery that is deaf-aware and understands the unique needs of deaf children. Parents shared their experiences of visiting nurseries and asking questions to determine whether they were the right fit for their child.
Another key topic of discussion was the role of technology in supporting deaf children in a nursery setting. Some parents shared their experiences of using hearing aids, cochlear implants, and assistive listening devices to help their child access sound and communicate with others.
There was also a conversation about the importance of building relationships with other parents of deaf children. Many parents shared how comforting it was to connect with others who understand the challenges of raising a deaf child and to share advice and experiences.
Overall, the session highlighted the importance of being proactive and communicating with nursery staff to ensure your child’s needs are being met. It’s essential to find a nursery that understands the unique needs of deaf children and to build relationships with both nursery staff and other parents of deaf children. With the right support and resources, deaf children can thrive in a nursery setting and beyond.
If you are a parent of a pre-school age deaf child and would like to attend future sessions like this, we encourage you to register your interest in our survey. Your input and experiences are valuable in helping us provide the support and resources needed for families with deaf children. Together, we can work towards creating a more inclusive and supportive environment for all deaf children.
We would love to invite you and your family to join our FREE monthly online sessions, where you can receive support and advice on raising your deaf child using the The Language of the Home Approach.
Our sessions are perfect for parents, grandparents, guardians, and other family members, and provide a welcoming space to share experiences of raising a deaf child at home and school. Each session includes a fun presentation on a theme followed by a Q&A with professionals and experienced parents of deaf children. Our sessions take place on a Thursday at 7:30pm and last for an hour and a half
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If you’re interested in attending our free monthly online sessions and receiving support and advice on raising your deaf child, register now by clicking the link