- write main headings, keywords and key questions on board or Overhead Projector before starting a lesson
- Clearly point out objects which are being discussed
- If possible, use video tapes with subtitles, or if not available, write out a summary of content
- Allow the deaf child to take video home for second viewing if necessary
- Use pictures to support spoken lesson wherever possible
- Soundfield systems allow a teacher to wear a microphone and an amplifier allows all children in the room to hear more clearly
- Radio aids can be supplied which can help to cut out background noise. The teacher carries a microphone and the pupil has a receiver.
- Be aware of the need to switch it on when talking to the deaf child but to switch it off when you are talking privately to others.
- Teachers should avoid wearing loose jewellery etc. which can hit the microphone and create loud noise.
Passport to Life – A Guide to the Law in audio format especially for those with disabilities. Contains basic information about everyday rights and responsibilities, the lack of which is a profound barrier to more independent living.
People with this condition find it difficult to process words in order to receive the meaning. It is not a hearing problem and they may well be able to repeat the words back. This may be one of the primary causes of dyslexia. APD is not a medical condition and it is not one which can be treated.
APD should be diagnosed by a trained audiologist. Help should be given in the form of a multi-disciplinary approach to help people develop their own coping strategies together with remedial programmes and assistive technology.
http://home.earthlink.net/~mcoleman/cpdadd.html (This site links APD and ADHD)
APD and its role in Developmental Language Disorder
- Make sure any pupil who has glasses wears them.
- Seat visually impaired children close to the blackboard, screen etc.
- Think about the lighting, decor and organisation of the room. Ask the visually impaired child what is best.
- Consider a desk lamp for more seriously visually impaired child.
- Supply taped instructions or enlarged text where necessary.
- Think about and try out different colour combinations on screen and on paper; black and cream/white is probably best.
- Be wary of textbooks which have text overprinted coloured backgrounds.
- Glare, shadows and reflections can affect pupils’ vision. Use of blinds on windows can be beneficial.
- For more severely visually impaired pupils, the teacher should verbally describe everything he/she is doing.
- Try to improve the listening environment by having a quiet classroom where possible
- A severely visually impaired child can develop unusual mannerisms such as twiddling their fingers, poking their noses, rocking etc. This is usually a sign of boredom or that they are confused and have switched off. Do not let them do this – nag them until they stop or else it will carry through to adulthood.
- Be aware of any changes in pupils or appearance of the eyes. Changes such as enlarging and non-dilation should be checked out by a medical practitioner even though it may be part of a condition such as tunnel vision.
P.E. and Visually Impaired Children
Children with severe visual impairments need to gain knowledge and control of his body in order to become aware of movement in space and movement that relates to people. He/she needs to learn about what happens when he/she moves and how he/she can control their movements.
Play games where he/she has to stretch up high and wide and bend in half etc.
When doing movement use similes, ‘Stand up like a soldier’ ‘Beg like a dog’ This helps them relate movements and objects and helps visualise concepts. ‘Crawl sideways like a crab’ ‘Wiggle like a worm’.
Name body parts. Play Simon Says, heads, shoulders knees and toes etc. help young children learn left and right using a glove on one hand.
To help teach awareness of objects in relation to self, use an audible ball (available from RNIB) and teach bouncing and catching. Teach him/her to skip with a rope. (These activities will probably need the help of the classroom assistant or another child if done within a whole class situation.)
Teaching a systematic routine can help with getting ready for P.E. The classroom assistant can teach this in the early stages.
1. Sit on floor – shoes off, socks off, Socks inside shoes, put under chair.
2. skirt or trousers off – cardigan, jumper, shirt off – lay out on top of desk in order.
3. P.E. shorts and T-shirt on.
- Be aware of background noise.
- Make sure that you have the child’s attention before starting to talk. Eye contact is important; with young children you may have to get down to their level.
- Speak clearly, naturally and do not shout.
- Face the child and maintain a distance between you of about 1 – 2 metres to allow for lip reading.
- Try not to cover your face or walk around while you are speaking.
- Repeat what other pupils say so that a deaf pupil who isn’t facing them, can become part of the conversation.
- Avoid having your back to the window as it creates a shadow.
- Encourage other children to speak one at a time and to put their hand up before speaking so that a deaf child knows who it is.
- Don’t talk and write on the blackboard at the same time.
- Get into the habit of reinforcing and clarifying things.
- Try to give homework at a quiet period of the day.
- Allow time to study visual aids or instructions before talking.
- Encourage all children to get into the habit of saying when they don’t understand something.
- It might be useful to have your lesson notes written up to share with the classroom assistant working with a deaf child.
- It might be useful to encourage the support worker to take notes during the lesson for the deaf child.
Preparing Worksheets for Deaf Children
Helping your Deaf Child to Learn
This booklet is available from the NDCS 0808 800 8880 or by emailing the helpline.
This is an online project which helps you to learn sign language. Ivytar is a virual signer – just choose a word and watch her sign. Link Ivytar to http://www.bgfl.org/ivytar
Teaching Hearing Impaired Children
Hearing Impaired Children in Class
Visual Spatial Learners (Relating to pupils with Auditory Processing Disorder)
There is a wide range of types and degree of visual impairment from short-sightedness, correctable with glasses to people who have virtually no useful sight – those registered blind. There is also the problem of colour blindness which can occur in up to 10% of boys.
Sometimes it is not the eye itself which causes the problem, but it is the pathway from the eye to the brain which is damaged. i.e. what the eye perceives has to be translated and made sense of by the brain.
Most people who are considered ‘blind’ have some sight. The degree to which each person is affected varies greatly. Some people can see to read but have difficulties getting around (tunnel vision); others vice versa.
Abstract concepts are difficult for those who cannot see as they have limited exploration to develop relationships. There can also be problems with movement, behaviour and responses as they do not pick up incidental information as easily as fully-sighted people.
What to look for: For children who have not been identified their eyes may turn or squint; they may screw up their eyes to look. They may be rather clumsy when moving around; they may have difficulty copying from the board; their handwriting may be large and spidery. They may tire quickly and may rub their eyes a lot. The child may be seen to have unusual habits, eg. rocking or rubbing fingers etc. This may indicate that they don’t know what is happening around them.
People who can help: SENCO / Resource Teacher
Wraparound is an all-inclusive scheme supporting children with visual and other disabilities in the Southern Health & Social Services area of N.Ireland. It offers help to parents, training for professionals, information and advice and play facilities for young children. Contact Catherine Murnin on 02890329373 or Catherine.Murnin@rnib.org.uk
Vision and Learning – an article by Keith Holland (pdf)
- About one in 1000 babies are born with hearing loss
- Other trauma throughout the first 10 years of life causes the numbers to rise to 2 in 1000 with hearing loss
- ‘Glue ear’ can cause temporary hearing loss to some children resulting in delayed learning.
A condition in which one of the parts of the auditory system is damaged causing the sufferer to improperly process sounds. Those suffering from hearing loss will not be able to develop language properly and their speech may be affected.
Things to look for:
Children with a hearing problem may not respond when called. There may be slurring of words, incorrect pronunciation or unstressed syllables. The child may watch your lips and face intently and may be reluctant to speak, answering with a nod of the head instead. He/She may regularly ask you to repeat things. There may be a lot of misunderstanding or ignoring instructions and he/she may watch others before doing something himself or he/she may continue doing something after being told to stop. He/She may prefer to dominate a group by talking rather than listening or else he/she may not take part in group discussions. His/Her speech can be very loud or very soft. He/She may frequently ask for help from others and his reading and oral performance may be much poorer than in other areas.