How we teach deaf children to listen and talk
We have developed our own unique Multi-Sensory Oral Approach to support the development of listening and spoken language skills in children with hearing loss.
This approach encourages the development of speech, language and listening by using all of the child’s senses, in a natural, fun, child centred environment.
We have over 35 years of experience using this approach successfully with hundreds of families.
We support parents with information and guidance so that they can make their own informed choices about which communication approach is right for them and their child.
Our message to parents
The preschool years from birth to five are the key times for you as parents to explore the different options for your deaf child.
There are many methods of teaching communication skills to deaf babies and children. During your child's early years you will hear and learn about different ways of teaching deaf children to communicate with the people around them. It is important to remember that all deaf children are individuals and there is no "one size fits all" approach. The preschool years are a time for you as a parent to explore the options and understand the different teaching methods.
While you are making your decision about whether the best option for your child is oralism (spoken communication), signing, or a combination of the two, your child still needs your help to:
- learn how to use their hearing aids or cochlear implants effectively
- understand visual cues such as natural gestures and appropriate facial expressions,
- become aware that they have a voice to use that people will respond to positively
The Multi Sensory Oral Approach
We are committed to the Multi Sensory Oral Approach. this means that we encourage deaf children to develop speech, language and listening skills by using all of their senses in a natural, fun, child-centred environment.
The Multi Sensory Oral Approach:
- assists children to develop their listening skills and spoken language through everyday activities by helping them learn to notice sounds and attach meaning to those sounds
- helps deaf children to communicate with the wider hearing world
- supports literacy and numeracy skills, equipping deaf children for their later educational life
- provides the widest range of options for family, friends, schools and professionals, who may have had little or no experience caring for a deaf child
Our methods also include some natural gesture and appropriate facial expressions. We do not, however, use sign language. The skills that your child will acquire while they are with us at The Elizabeth Foundation will be necessary prerequisites for good Total Communication if you should choose to go down that path with your child.
We strongly believe that parents are the main educators of their deaf child; and to help you fulfil this challenging role we are here to offer you help, guidance, advice and encouragement throughout their vital preschool years.
We base all of the services we provide for deaf children on our Multi Sensory Oral Approach.