Sunday, March 28, 2010

Classroom strategies for mild/moderate hearing loss

IEP time came for us again in February.  Having moved from one county to another and then back again, it seems like a lot of meetings for one little kid.  Now we're in our forever home and have written the all important IEP that will be used for her transition to kindergarten.

There are only two goals this time.  Speech has been conquered and now the task is to make sure she continues to grow as a listener.  The first goal is to maintain her skills.  The second is about following directions.  This IEP will hopefully keep her from falling behind because of her hearing loss.

Julia's Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing wrote a great list of strategies needed to achieve these goals.  They are:
  • Minimize background noise
  • Use preferential seating in a large group with appropriate access to peers and teacher
  • In small groups and one-on-one situations seat Julia in front of or next to the speaker
  • Utilize auditory sandwich techniques (presenting information verbally, pausing to wait for a response, giving a visual clue, then repeating verbal information)
  • Provide extra time for processing
  • Provide acoustic highlighting techniques to enhance the audibility of spoken language (whispering or emphasizing a specific pitch)
  • Use rephrasing and repetition to supplement verbal instruction
  • Model appropriate language
  • Expand and extend Julia's spontaneous utterances
  • Speak at normal conversational levels at close range
  • Identify who is speaking and repeat/paraphrase information stated by her peers
  • Use a varied vocabulary with Julia to convey a variety of concepts
  • Give breaks from listening
  • Encourage Julia to use clarification as needed and begin to self-advocate
  • Implement the proper use of an FM system
We've come so far, but there's still a lot to be done.  Like me, Julia has significant difficulty understanding other kids. Most recently she complained that with her FM she could only hear her dance teacher and not her friends.  We're continuing to learn and adapt as a family with the above list of strategies as our guide.

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