02 October 2010

Children with Hearing and Speech Difficulties and how to help Mentally Retarded Children

Children who are born without hearing or those who lost hearing in early childhood due to illness cannot develop their language skills without help. Remember there are many children out there who can hear ,but they are unable to express themselves without help and training. The implications to the teacher is to help these children to develop their language skills. Children who are hardly to hear are known as deaf while those with difficulties in speaking are called dumb. In most cases children who has problems in hearing also has problems in speech. These disabilities usually go hand in glove . Both these handicapped children need to be taught to communicate effectively.
Communication is done in various types such as speech ,expressions on our faces ,movements of our arms and body ,signals with our hands and fingers ,writing ,reading and use of pictures. We can use communication styles to express ourselves to others and to understand others.
A child with hearing and speech problems often feels cut off from other children and feels lonely because they cannot communicate. Teachers ,pupils and volunteers should learn simple ways of communicating with these children. We should call these children by their names when speaking to them . These children will know that we are speaking to them. We must always start only when the child is looking at us.
Some children has little hearing,as teachers should encourage them to use it so that the children can develop it.The little hearing can be stimulated by activities such as listening exercises. The children are involved in environmental noises which produced by cars,lorries ,tractors ,motorbikes ,aeroplanes ,dogs,cats ,drums ,guitars etc. These noises then associated with pictures or written words to enable the pupils to distinguish and discriminate against incorrect responses.Listening skills can be used to explain the differences between words with similar sounds such as 'bird and bed', 'beat and bead' ,'road and rod ' or 'meat and meet'.
Language can be fully enriched by describing activities such as cooking ,gardening ,playing soccer or netball used on its particular place. For instance dribbling the ball in soccer. Describing should takes place only when the children are involved in the exercises. This help the children involved in the learning to effectively learn from direct experience.Take a situation when the teacher walks into the classroom and finds pupils fighting ,this is a good opportunity to teach words like fighting ,bad,good ,trouble and extend to teach morals.
The use of short sentences directly related to the activity and those pupils with hearing problems must imitates speech and this helps much in learning.It is necessary not to press the child if cannot pronounce words correctly.It is always necessary to speak normally as to help children to imitate and also speak normally. When speaking it is good to use gestures to make clear clarifications to those listening what we are really saying, such as make use of head shaking when we say NO!,pointing at them when saying YOU! and pointing at ourselves when saying I or ME!.
It is nice to note that facial expressions should also change with what we want to
say.Our faces can show happiness,sorrow,surprise,depression ,smelling etc. The frequent use of these expressions is essential whenever we are in contact with
pupils. The children later will make use of these expressions through our stimulus and motivates them to use these movements and expressions to express themselves in thoughts ,feelings and needs.
Helping Mentally Retarded Children: A child who is mentally retarded behaves strangely because the mind do not work normally. This child doesn't understand what is happening to him/her. He/she is operating unconsiously as behaving and does not realise the effects of the illness on his/her behaviour and on other people.
These children with mental problems need the help of those normal people with whom they live with .The teacher must understand a person who shows strange behaviour and make efforts to help. The mental development of a person with mental problems takes place more slowly than his physical chronological development. A person who is chronological 15 years older may behave like a three year old child. For us to be able to help them and accept them as they are.

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