How To Teach Conversation Skills To Your Hearing-Impaired Child
Created by Sugandha Tiwari Updated on Jan 13, 2019
For children with hearing impairment one of the key skills to be taught in terms of language development are “pragmatic skills”. Pragmatic skills are what make us communicate in social contexts. For eg. Using appropriate language, avoid using specific words and taking care of our tone of voice in different settings, responding to the other person and holding a conversation.
Read more to find out some specific activities you can use to teach your child this skill of language usage. While you are doing these activities, two things that will be very effective are role plays and visuals.
Emotions:Provide your child with a wide range of emotions. Make this a structured activity by making use of reading books that are based on “ emotions and expressions and similar concepts”, Make use of videos and other relevant online content that covers these concepts.
There are a lot of social stories for this. After reading out/watching stories let your child do simple activities like identifying the emotion of the character by picking up the correct emotion card.
Social greetings/making requests:Words like please, thank you, sorry etc. are all part of the social greetings norm. Do a lot of modelling for this one. The more you model it for your child in social situations, the more opportunity your child is getting to imitate them.
If enough role modelling is happening, then when we do activities in a structured way, the chances are your child will respond better.
- Seeking clarification: Observe your child in different sittings and watch out for clues when your child is not responding or following instruction or participating in the conversation. Again you can start teaching it by doing role modelling among family members.
Answering questions: Before your child can answer a question it is important that he understands the question and to be able to understand a question it is important that you systematically teach the specific vocabulary like W words.
Again use short stories with descriptive visual clues for this. If your child is not yet at the level of language comprehension completely in English, you must use both the languages simultaneously to make understanding better.
Initiating a conversation: From the time when you might have realized that your child is not hearing properly and is not responding, automatically the language stimulation might have decreased and as a result you must have started providing things even if he /she did not ask for it by using words.
This pattern makes the child many a times use more of signs and other non-gestural modes of communication like pointing. Thereby, reducing all opportunities to interact and precisely initiate conversations.
For this you must first teach your child how to gain a person’s attention, waiting for his/her turn along with use of social words mentioned above. Secondly, you would be required to train your child how to identify breaks in the conversation. Use role plays to model and rehearse.
Some of the ways in which your child can seek attention is by either gently tapping on the person’s body, saying excuse me and so on.
- Describing objects/situations: Practice this with simple descriptive pictures along with teaching “asking questions”. Inculcate the activity in everyday routine with regular routine tasks.