Hearing impairment can involve a mild degree of hearing loss or a significant degree of impairment. If your child has a hearing impairment, she will have special interactive and learning needs. With engaging and educational activities, you can spend time with your child and broaden her awareness of the world around her.
The Joys of Reading
Reading aloud to your child can be effective for brain development, learning vocabulary and bonding, according to the Reading Rockets website. Sit with your little one so she can see your face. Use plenty of animated facial expressions and enthusiasm as you read the words and sign the story if applicable. Offer supplementary explanations for parts of the story that your child may misunderstand or miss altogether. Repetition is great way for children to learn so feel free to read the same story as often as requested.
Sing and sign simple and repetitive songs with your child regularly to engage and interact with him. Rhyming songs can be especially effective for developing phonics skills. As you sing songs, clap out the rhythm to help your child feel the different varieties. Encourage your youngster to clap with you so he can feel the beat. Try active songs that require moving participation such as "Hokey Pokey" or "I'm a Little Teapot." Children who might otherwise feel reluctant to join in feel less inhibited with action songs. Your child might feel more rhythm if he's marching or jumping along.
Kids with hearing impairment will be visual learners. Your youngster will likely need a little extra support and encouragement to associate words with objects. Labeling items around your home can be an effective way to increase this understanding. Print or write text labels for common household objects, such as “lamp,” “book,” “table” and “piano.” As you engage in conversation throughout the day, point to labels and say the item names clearly so your child can see your face. You could even make a game of it by going on a scavenger hunt to find specific items on a list.
Teach your child about sounds -- items that make sounds and items that don’t make sounds. For the items that make sounds, show your child how to place his hand on the object to feel the vibration. Make additional labels for sound items and non-sound items, perhaps with a star system to indicate loud and soft sounds (three stars for loud items and one star for soft items). Provide musical instruments that your child can operate and feel vibrations from, such as a drum, a guitar or a tambourine. Help your child associate the sounds with the vibrations and experiment with different rhythms as well. You might even place your child’s hand on your chest or throat so he can feel the vibrations of your voice as you sing.