Reading Rockets has put together an article with tips for parents of children with hearing loss or deafness, which is equally applicable for a teacher working with these populations. Some of the suggestions they include are:
- Have the child turn pages, touch the pictures, and lift the flaps. This will give him or her practice using the hands, getting ready to sign.
- Use simple sign language as you read.
- Read the same story again and again. This will help the child catch words he or she may have missed before. Explain the story as needed.
- Make sure the child can see your face and the pictures. This will help to follow the story, even if he or she doesn’t catch all the words.
- Use stuffed animals to act out the story.
ttaconline.org , a community for sharing resources to educate students with disabilities, presents several instructional strategies and resources for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. According to this website, “It has been hypothesized that the relatively poor reading skills of deaf individuals result from problems with phonological processing. Most hearing readers encode print by sounding words out phonetically and some deaf children, even with amplification, are not able to hear many of the speech sounds. This encoding is important, because it allows a person to hold chunks of text in their short-term memory long enough for higher level processors to assign meaning to it for overall comprehension.”