Picture a young family with a daughter of primary school age with hearing loss. Her name is Alexa and she attends a mainstream school in her local area with two of her siblings. Alexa’s parents had the idea of keeping all their children together in one school. However, they have a growing concern that Alexa is not receiving the support she needs.
Do they advocate for Alexa to receive more support from her current school? Do they separate her from her siblings and move her to a specialist school that is further away? Being busy working parents, they don’t know where to go to get the best advice for their family and situation.
Alexa’s family situation is not unique. In our experience, families of children with hearing loss should never feel isolated and alone. Developing a diverse family-centred community around parents empowers them to make more informed decisions about their own family.
Additional benefits of community
Language and communication are all about social inclusion and developing community. Community is the way you provide your child with a rich linguistic and social environment, with lots of opportunities for incidental learning.
What this looks like will be a little different at every stage of your child’s journey. On entering Primary School, your child’s community will immediately expand. Your child may need support to develop and sustain friendships.
And, of course, don’t forget yourself! You will want to stay connected to parents who are at different stages of the journey, and who may have made similar, or even very different, choices to you.
Community includes extended family and friends, as well as the deaf and hard of hearing community and activities that include sports, hobbies and interests.
How we help
So, what does all this look like at the Primary School age, and how do you connect to it? We help in two main ways.
•Providing tailored support for every stage of your child’s unique communication journey
•Pairing parents of children with hearing loss with more experienced parents
Here are some further links related to Developing Community:
Extended family – grandparent perspective
- ADK groups for parents – Aussie Deaf Kids
- Parent support groups – Aussie Deaf Kids
- Support – Parents of Deaf Children
Holiday programs / camps
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