Rules for Communicating with a hearing-impaired child
In your family a child with hearing impairment was born. I will write about how you can help your child to adapt more easily in the world around him. To begin with, parents or other adults need to follow certain rules for communication:
1. Before you start talking, focus your child's attention on your face.
2. Your face should be well lit (light should fall on it) and be at the same level with the child's face (for this you can take him in your arms or sit against it, bend over to it). Your head should be motionless. The distance between you and the child should be not less than 0.5 m but not more than 1.5 m.
3. Words should be pronounced naturally, without exaggerating facial expressions and articulation (i.e., do not move exaggerated lips, do not specifically show the position of the tongue), do not speak too loudly, but also not in a whisper. Both distorts articulation. Having got used to such emphasized articulation, the child will not be able to lipread normal speakers. It is necessary to speak slightly slower but not dividing the words into syllables for this, rather only pronouncing the vowels longer, slightly stretching the syllable, for example: waater
4. Make sure that the child reflects the speaker, starting with a simple movement of the lips of individual visible sounds to the reflection of familiar words with varying degrees of intelligibility (depending on his background). However, do not allow it to pronounce sounds incorrectly. Reflected repetition not only makes it easier for the child to read from the lips, but at the same time will be a good exercise for the organs of articulation development.
5. When addressing the child, use short sentences. Avoid speaking in separate words. At the same time, speak together not only the syllables in the words, but also the words themselves in the sentence (do not pause between two closely related words: Give a hat! Bring a doll!).
6. Do not introduce a new word by the lips (it is almost always useless), but after saying an unfamiliar word, immediately give the child an opportunity to read it from the hand or from the sign, and then repeat it orally.
7. If the child failed to understand a familiar word from the lips at the first try, repeat the second time, but no more. When repeating, do not emphasize articulations so that it understands you faster. This will only give a negative result. The child needs be taught to understand ordinary speech. Just say louder, which will naturally make your articulation more expressive. Even better, remind the child of the word by writing it or fingerspelling (while the child should reflect it first with his fingers as well), then orally.
8. Words learned by the child, especially those used in special exercises, should not be accompanied by fingerspelling. It is necessary to resort to signs only when it is difficult for the child to understand from the lips.
9. Use situation and the child's interest in the subject, in its name in order to once again use the spoken word. The interest increases its susceptibility. The situation makes it easier to guess, which is very important for the development of lip-reading skills.
10. Give up the desire to verbally tell the child something new, entertaining. For this very important and necessary purpose, use actions with objects, toys, available pictures in combination with familiar words, and as speech develops, written text. Only after the child reads the text, understands it, you can repeat the story orally. But mostly, develop lip-reading skills using spoken words and phrases. If at preschool age you ensure that the child learns to read everyday expressions from lips in communication with others, then you will have made a big step in the formation of his oral speech. But the child should also learn to speak. Ask questions more often, contact the child with messages, encourage him to do the same. Ask the child more clarifying questions: 'I want juice', and then 'What juice?', 'Apple or orange?', 'In a glass or in a mug?' and so on.
11. Address the child with verbal speech and do not accept any mimic messages from it, in every possible way encouraging it to make statements of a colloquial type. From my own practice, earlier we ourselves made my son's task easier and he began to speak very late: we asked him what he wanted a banana or an apple? Then we ourselves said 'Banana' and he shook his head negatively, then 'Apple' and he nodded positively. Wait for its answer, let it say what it wants, if, of course, it is already of proper age.
12. Support your child's desire to communicate with those who can hear. Invite friends to play with it, go to the park, to the playground. Children learn very well from each other.
13. Be well aware of your child's hearing status:
(a) what ear hears better;
b) at what distance from the better hearing ear the child perceives speech of normal volume without sound amplifying equipment and with an individual acoustic aid.
The success in the education and upbringing of hearing-impaired and deaf children can be achieved only in the unity of parents and specialists. Believe me, over time you will begin to see the success of your kid, enjoy its speech acts, as well as the desire to argue with you and defend its point of view.