Communication is about sharing, learning and understanding together. It should never be viewed as a rigid commitment for children, parents or the professionals they work with.
At HEARO, we see communication as a journey that evolves as your child goes through different ages and stages of life. Every stage comes with new circumstances and considerations for everyone involved.
Helpful tips on your journey
Children thrive in an encouraging and supportive network of relationships. As you embark on a communication journey with your child, we’ve found the following to be important considerations.
Empowering your child
- From the moment they are born, your child is as individual as their hearing. The ultimate aim of a communication journey is to empower your child to thrive through every stage of life. Expect your child to have individual preferences and proficiencies that will play a big part in their evolving journey.
- Language competency and communication choices will be influenced by the supports available to your child such as extended family and friends, connection to peers, and access to deaf and hard of hearing role models.
- Don’t be surprised if your child’s communication modality preference changes as they develop. Be aware that these changes will influence their transition to school, and the type of supports required at school.
- It is your child’s human right to be involved in decisions related to their health and wellbeing in line with both the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Article 7,3 United Nations General Assembly 2007) and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (Part 1, Article 12, 1 United Nations General Assembly 1989). These conventions specify that it is “within the rights of every child to freely express their views on the matters that relate to them, and have their views taken seriously”.
Your role as a parent
- We encourage parents to take stock of their own desires and goals for their child by seeking out and gaining access to relevant information and services.
- Parents do need to evaluate their own beliefs about sign language, speech, literacy, and education as these will also play a part in their child’s communication journey.
- In our experience, a child’s communication journey and decision to change modality can be influenced by parental capacity to be involved, set long-term goals, support and advocate on their behalf.
- The family qualities that most influence a child’s change in communication mode include characteristics of the deaf or hard of hearing child, the child’s relationship with their hearing, communication interventions at key stages and how the child interacts with parents and siblings.
The role of professionals
- A professional network is a powerful source of expertise and support that we encourage parents to build around their family. This enables parents to have a holistic view of their child from a medical, educational and social perspective.
- Decision making can then be viewed as an ongoing process by professionals so that they can address the changing needs and preferences of the family to deliver a truly family-centred approach.
How we help
We created HEARO to be one of the first places for families to access the information they need to make truly informed choices.
Some of the benefits of the HEARO approach include:
- Supporting a child-centred perspective that aims to empower parents to follow the child’s lead through different stages of life.
- Aligning our service with your family goals which are individual, flexible and holistic.
- Providing an Family Support service to give families timely access to make early intervention decisions
- Giving parents the opportunity to join our Parent to Parent Mentor Program for support, mentorship and guidance from parents further along the journey.
To find out how we can best support your child’s communication journey, connect with our team today.
Here are some further links related to the communication journey and school supports:
- Language and communication – Aussie Deaf Kids
- Education – Aussie Deaf Kids
- Services for 6-11 years – Deaf Children Australia
- Education – Parents of Deaf Children
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