Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Course for Mothers of the Children with Hearing Loss


We know that language and speech learning is a process, which we learn through our hearing, it started from our childhood. In our childhood we hear our parents and other family members talking and gradually we learn to speak. It takes two to three years for a child with normal hearing to express herself using words in small sentences. And for a child with hearing loss it takes a longer time to develop a language and speech.

Parents are the first teachers in this journey of learning language and speech, especially mother, because a child spends much of her time with her mother during daily activities of bathing, cooking, eating, changing clothes, playing and so on. A child learns language trough these activities, initially it is a nonverbal communication from child’s side but mother talks with her using speech. So, a mother plays a very important role in developing a child’s speech and language.

In case of a child with hearing loss, parents get confused, how to teach their child a language if she has a hearing loss. They start thinking how hearing loss will effect her child. Will she be able to hear her parent’s voice? Will she be able to speak papa and mamma? Will she be able to get education like a normal child in a normal school? A child with hearing loss needs professional to teach her a speech, called speech therapist or special educator. A good speech therapist can help your child learning language but he/she can not take place of a mother as a child’s first teacher. And In a big city you can find special school or speech therapist but in rural area you hardly find any of them. Some professional don’t give their services to very young children below two or three years of age. When I went to a special educator for Vandita’s speech therapy when she was two years of age, she told me to come after two years, gave me the reason that very young children are not cooperative. Another point, being a professional they don’t allow parents or other family members to sit along with the child during speech therapy, although it is important for parents to be involved in language learning process of their child who is hard of hearing or deaf.

But good news for the parents is that “Shree K. L. Institute for the Deaf” of Bhavnagar district offers a 6 months special course for parents and guardians of children with hearing loss, called “mother training“. The institute is first of its kind in India to introduce such a course for the parents and guardians of a deaf child. The ability to read and write is the only eligibility criteria for the guardians of the children with hearing loss who want to join the course. There is no age bar and no formal educational qualification required to join the program. Teaching language, speech, brief introduction to child psychology, anatomy and audiology are the subjects included in the course. Certificate is also provided after the successful completion of the course. Hostel facility is also available for the mothers and guardians coming from outside of Bhavnagar. After completing this course mother can teach her child speech and language like a special teacher at the comfort of home and can help her child to integrate in a normal school. For further details, please contact to the address given below.

Shree K. L. Institute for the Deaf
51, Vidyanagar, Bhavnagar- 364002
Gujarat (India)
Phone: (0278) 2420836, 2429326
Fax: (0278) 2431160

1 comment:

Elsie Ritchie said...

My heart goes out to deaf children who do not receive language at birth. Perhaps, sharing this website with them will inspire them to communicate with their children at a young age instead of waiting until it is too late.

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