If the interaction between the parents and the child is proper and methodical, the hearing impaired child can start learning the vocabulary and develop language structures along with the development of communication skills easily,we may say rather spontaneously. These children have the same innate capacity to learn language as that of a hearing one. They shouldn’t be under estimated. But slow learning should be attributed to the fact that such children haven’t heard any language.
Programmes and Courses for Parents
Realising the fact, Deaf organizations in India have offered certain courses and programmes for the parents of the hearing impaired children to promote education for the deaf children.
One of such courses is a correspondence course for the parents and the caretakers. The course is designed to assist the parents in managing the difficulties faced by them while developing the vocabulary and language in their kids. Home study plans are given to the parents in which the ways to input language in the children are taught. They are trained to provide an environment which can stimulate learning for their children, as it is believed that the age between 0-5 years is quite crucial in the development of a language. While doing various daily chores like cleaning, washing, bathing, brushing, playing, going to bed etc, the parents can teach their children vocabulary and meaningful phrases. They are told to label the things around the child consciously so that the child may be able to know the names of common objects around him. Such courses are available almost free of cost.
Another such course is the Parent Infant Programme. Both the parents and the infants are enrolled in the programme. The parents are taught to monitor the overall development of the hearing impaired child. All this would help in removing the impediments likely to come in the way of acquiring higher education by the deaf at the later stage. They are trained in the following techniques to help their child in developing a language:
- Talking to the child in the most natural and in a slower manner.
- Talking to the child, only when the child is looking at them.
- Talking about the activities around the child.
- Using toys and books in an interesting manner to initiate conversation.
- Making gestures along with words
Parents and Teachers
There are certain contact training programs routinely organized for the parents. Here parents and teachers work together in a kind of partnership for educating the hearing impaired children. The programmes are chalked out according to the age group of the children. These programs are held periodically in special schools in India.
Following points are part and parcel of such programs:
- Help of special teachers is taken to plan out the educational programme of the child.
- Appropriate educational programmes are considered either in the regular schools or special schools depending upon the child’s capability and success rate.
- Parents are trained to inculcate listening, speech reading and reading skills.
- Meeting the school teachers regularly to follow up classroom teaching.
Parents are made to learn the techniques used by the teachers so that same techniques can be followed at home.
- Parents are free to discuss about their apprehensions and doubts with the teachers.
- Parents are counselled to be more supportive to the child in his success as well as in failures by motivating them.Parents should help the children express themselves freely and they should be regarded as the part of family interactions.
- The main objective of such programs is to make the parents participate as equal partners in the education of their children.
Such programmes and courses are conducted by Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped. It is under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, New Delhi. It is located in Bandra (West), Mumbai .
Some other such institutes are as follows:
- Shravan Vani Sudhar Kendra All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
- Central Institute for the Teachers of Deaf Agripada, Mumbai
- Balvidyalay School for Young Deaf Children Chennai Tamil Nadu
- Little Flower Convent Higher Secondary School for Deaf Chennai – 600006 Tamil Nadu
- Maitri Infant Training Centre Agripada, Mumbai
- Vikas Vidyalay for the Deaf Prof. Agashe Road, Dadar, Mumbai
Thus it is the parents who can lay the foundation stone for education of their hearing impaired child. But to be successful in their mission they have to be guided and trained in such a manner that they can teach and reinforce the language in their kids.