Promoting a child’s language development can be a challenge but also is wonderfully rewarding. Even if a child’s language seems to be “taking off” well naturally, adults can still to help accelerate progress.
Remember you are not alone!
Think of the other agencies that may or could be involved in supporting your child or the child you work with. What are their roles?
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Many children in with cochlear implants will have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) from the local authority. An EHCP records the child’s special needs and identifies support and adjustments that will be needed in the child’s educational setting.
Liaison (often by home school books) enables the parent to know the language being focused on in class and to prepare/go back over it/build upon it, reinforcing it for the child through repetition, using library books and out of school opportunities. For example when a parent knew the class topic was going to be World War II, one parent took their child to the War museum and made black out blinds for the child in her bedroom.
Useful resources for language can be found through:
The University of Southampton Auditory Implant Service
Interactive Music Awareness Programme (IMAP): Free online interactive music programme to develop skills in listening to and appreciating music with a CI.
Blue folder. This is provided to parents and schools of all out young CI users. Ask the child’s key contact at the University of Southampton Auditory Implant Service for further details.
The Ear Foundation: ‘provides services which bridge the gap between the clinics where these exciting technologies are fitted and the local community where they are used in everyday life’
Sounding board: ‘A service for busy professionals working to help children and young people with cochlear implants succeed or for anyone else interested’
Leaping on with Language: ‘This resource provides practical strategies to accelerate your child’s spoken language learning’
NDCS: ‘The National Deaf Children’s Society is the leading charity dedicated to creating a world without barriers for deaf children and young people’
Support resources for professionals working with deaf children and young people in schools
Support and resources for parents and families of deaf children and young people
The Communication Trust: The Communication Trust is a coalition of over 50 not-for-profit organisations. ‘Working together we support everyone who works with children and young people in England to support their speech, language and communication’
Resource to encourage listening, understanding, interaction and play (Preschool)
The Elizabeth Foundation: ‘The Elizabeth Foundation is a national charity supporting infants and pre-school children with hearing loss and their families. It helps babies and children with all degrees of hearing loss learn to listen and speak. It does this by providing pre-school education services at its Family Centre, along with help, support and advice for families all over the UK’
Home learning programme
Talking Point: Talking Point is a website all about children’s speech, language and communication. It is designed for parents, people that work with children, and children and young people themselves. Talking Point is run by I CAN and receive funding from The Communication Trust.
Resources which can be downloaded and used to support children:
The Literacy Trust: An independent charity that promotes literacy.
Teaching Effective Vocabulary
Advanced Bionics/ Phonak:
The listening room – free login for AB CI or Phonak users
Although specialist equipment and resources are available, you will find that within your pre-school or home you already have plenty of games and items that can be used creatively to support your child’s listening and language development. Here are some examples:
- wooden spoon on a saucepan lid
- two saucepan lids together
- toy bricks in an empty tin
- a tambourine/drum
- see-through jars or tubs filled with pasta, beans, buttons, marbles etc which make a noise when you shake them (make sure they’re firmly closed and young children can’t get into them!)
- noisy/squeaky toys (preferably without a visual/light clue)
stamping feet/coconut shells
- What are the communication options for a child with a cochlear implant?
- What factors are important to consider in the early stages after implantation?
- How to support a child with a cochlear implant with language development in primary school.
- Understanding the importance of social interaction.
- What resources are available to support primary school staff.