The start of school is an exciting milestone for children, stepping into the classroom for the first time.
With so many new experiences and changes to routines ahead, preparation is key to success – particularly for families preparing a child who is deaf or hard of hearing to take this big leap.
Former teacher and Hear and Say Listening and Spoken Language Specialist, Jayne Simpson Allen said that it was natural for children to experience some first-day jitters. However, there were many steps parents and carers could put in place to ensure their child hit the ground running and thrived at school.
“The unknowns of starting at a new school can be daunting for many children, so it’s great if you can visit the school before that first morning drop-off, and point out areas like their classroom and where they will play at lunch break,” said Jayne.
“In the lead up, involve your child in fun decisions like choosing a new schoolbag, pencil case or lunchbox, and try to encourage positive thinking while acknowledging your child’s likely mixed feelings and emotions.”
For parents and carers of a child with hearing loss, meeting with their teacher before the start of the school year helps the child to be best supported to learn in their new classroom.
“Working with your child’s teacher from the outset to understand your child’s specific needs goes a long way in best helping them access the sounds around them, and to get the most out of their classroom experiences,” said Jayne.
“Considerations include the background noise levels in a classroom, where a child is seated, using assistive listening technology such as a clip-on microphone or SoundField system, and how a teacher can engage additional cues and resources when introducing new routines, topics or vocabulary.”
For children enrolled in Hear and Say’s Early Intervention program, listening and spoken language specialists will support families in making this transition smooth, including one or two visits to the school throughout the year where possible.
Contact Hear and Say by clicking here to find out how we can help you and your child succeed through this exciting milestone.