There are many different definitions for the word “deaf” — the medical definition, the cultural definition, the audiological definition. But I’d like to propose another one. A reDEAFinition, if you will…
Hearing loss technology and intervention are rapidly changing. Advances in cochlear implant programming, hearing aid design, and the brain science behind auditory verbal intervention continue to drive our field forward and propel children born deaf today to new heights. Children born deaf or hard of hearing in 2016 truly have a world of possibilities open to them. As leading audiologist and Cert. AVT Jane Madell says, “This is a wonderful time to be born deaf.”
When a child is very young and/or doesn’t talk much (… yet!) it seems like we (parents and professionals) suddenly seem to develop psychic abilities. Mindreading means anticipating the child’s need or what the child is going to say, and taking care of it before giving the child a chance to ask for help or say anything at all. While mindreading a baby’s needs is an important part of infant care, to help toddlers and children develop language, it’s time to put away the crystal ball.
Serious, boring therapy? No thank you! Practical jokes can be a lot of fun, but look beneath the surface and you’ll find a wealth of listening and language goals, too. Let’s talk about sabotage, theory of mind, jokes, and helping children with hearing loss develop a sense of humor.
Whether you’ve been hard of hearing all your life or are adjusting to life as a late-deafened adult, navigating the workforce with hearing loss can be a challenge. How can you manage job interviews, communication challenges on the job, and determine appropriate accommodations?
Psychologist Lev Vygotsky is credited with identifying the concept of the “Zone of Proximal Development.” This “ZPD” is the area between what a learner can do without help and what a learner can do with help — that is, it’s the zone where growth and learning really happen. Zone of Proximal Development sounds impressive, but for me, I like to think of it as the “Just Right Challenge.”