AG Bell 2008: Saturday Concurrent Sessions

Oh my goodness, where to begin?  Convention has been AMAZING and I am learning great new things and meeting great new people every minute of every day!  There are TONS of things to write about, but here’s a quick summary of the things I learned and did on Saturday:

SELF-ADVOCACY: CURRICULUM FOR CREATING INDEPENDENCE

Carrie Bauza, M.S. (Child’s Voice School)

How can we help children with hearing loss become their own best advocates?  What skills do deaf or hard of hearing students need to succeed in the mainstream?  Carrie Bauza, the Mainstream Coordinator at Child’s Voice School, shared the tools and techniques she and her colleagues used to help the students in their weekly transition class be the best that they could be when they transferred to regular classrooms in their neighborhood schools.  The presentation suggested teaching children:

  •   communication repair strategies

  • problem solving skills

  • appropriate social skills

  • educate students about hearing loss, help them educate others about their hearing/devices

  • mainstream vocabulary – cafeteria, library, names of types of teachers, etc.

  • never bluff — if you don’t know, ask!

Children should know that everyone, even those with normal hearing, need to ask for help or clarification every once in a while, and we, as parents and teachers, can help to give them the skills and self-esteem necessary to become full participants in their education, NOT bystanders!

LISTENING AT HOME AND IN THE CLASSROOM WITH LOVE AND LOGIC

Joanna Stith, Ph.D.,  CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT (Listening for Life)

Love and Logic is a popular parenting program and this presentation shared ways that the principles of natural consequences, respect, empathy, and responsibility can be used to increase the listening and learning opportunities for deaf children at home and in school/therapy settings.  Some basic principles of Love and Logic:

  • replace anger/frustration with empathy

  • replace threats and warnings with simple actions

  • set enforceable limits

  • give away control you don’t need

  • raise the child to the standard, not the standard to the child

Love and Logic is all about giving children choices with BOTH of the options being things that the parent wants the child to do.  “Would you like to brush your teeth first or wash your face first?”  By giving children control of the little things, you make “deposits” into an account from which you can make major “withdrawals” when Mommy simply must say NO.  Giving children choices, and forcing them to live with the natural consequences of what they decide, may cause them some short-term discomfort, but it saves them from the long-term disappointment of poor choices made on major decisions later in life.   Remember, it takes a very low level of language to understand simple behavioral instructions so, no matter how language delayed or how profoundly deaf your child, hearing loss is never an excuse for poor behavior.  In fact, having a hearing loss is even more reason we need to equip our children with the tools they need now to be responsible, polite, successful, independent adults in the future.

BAHA®: WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY

Lori Van Riper, M.S., CCC-A (University of Michigan Medical Center)

This session was great!  Before attending, I really knew very little about the BAHA, or Bone Anchored Hearing Aid, device.  A BAHA is a prosthetic device mainly intended for children or adults without outer or middle ear structures intact — the sound cannot make it to their cochleas in the inner ear, which usually function normally.  Without an ear canal, they cannot be fit with traditional behind the ear (BTE) hearing aids, but their hearing loss is typically mixed in nature (sensorineural and conductive components) with thresholds too low to qualify for cochlear implants.

THE PRESCHOOL EXPERIENCE: ENHANCING EARLY LITERACY SKILLS

Abby Zoia, M.S., C.E.D. and Patricia Hoffman (both from Central Institute for the Deaf)

Literacy Related Skills for Preschoolers:

  •  book orientation (reading right to left, how to turn pages, hold a book, etc.)

  • vocabulary

  • reading of the story

  • prediction (what will happen next? what happens if…?)

  • comprehension (how did he feel?  why did they go there?)

  • story extension activities (acting out the story, related crafts and games, etc.)

Literacy Related Preschool Skills

  • patterning

  • sequencing

  • pre-phonics (recognizing the grapheme-phoneme relationship — that written letters stand for spoken sounds)

  • phonological awareness (rhymes, alliterations, etc.)

  • print awareness/emergent writing (can write own name, familiar words, makes up creative spellings for words, etc.)

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