As parents of hearing impaired children know, finding suitable child care is often difficult. A child with a hearing disability cannot be left with just any babysitter; They have to be placed with a skilled provider who knows how to sign, and can relate to a child who is unable to hear the world around them. Families of these vulnerable children are very particular about the care they receive.
One of the most viable characteristics of a care provider of the deaf is the patience to communicate non verbally. This can include signing, nonverbal communication such as tapping,mouthing and picture cues. If there is a child who responds better to sign language, then the care provider should also be proficient. It is recommended to always look a hearing impaired child in directly in the eyes. This provides the direct one to one communication required for this specified contact.
Providers often will keep a pen and paper nearby, so that there is no confusion between the care provider and the child. This is not going to be the case when caring for the younger hearing impaired child, however. Toddlers sometimes have a hard time expressing themselves, as it becomes further more difficult when communication is lost. It is imperative that continued interaction remain steady while learning shared ways to communicate.
It is safe to say that there is a shortage on teachers and childcare providers for the deaf. Some parents of hearing impaired students are at risk of short funding for education, as one in five deaf children will go without a specialized educator for the deaf. In search for adequate care for these children, parents will often spend thousands of dollars on tutors, nanny’s and teachers, only to find that there is not enough services to meet the needs of the child. This can be emotionally as well as financially draining.
For nanny’s and childcare providers, important steps to follow would include being an emotional support for the child and the family. This could be vital considering the varied emotions that are tied intro a family caring for someone with special needs or a disability. Communicating with other professionals that are involved with the child is important to share information about the child.
Approximately forty percent of deaf children have additional disabilities or deficiencies. Deaf children are known in some cases to develop symptoms of autism and attention deficit disorder (ADHD). This requires the need of an additional occupational therapist or other experts in the spectrum disorder field.
Many child care education classes offer educators classes and group seminars for continued learning on the caring and teaching of hearing impaired children. These classes include an intensive sign language class that results in fluency.
All nanny’s and child care providers need to be pre-screened for the safety of the entire family. All references including past employers and educational institutions should be checked. There are several web sites available for fast references. Word of mouth in the community is another way to find quality experts and educators for the deaf.