Raising and Educating a Deaf Child

International experts answer your questions about the choices, controversies, and decisions faced by the parents and educators of deaf and hard-of-hearing children.

Question from V. Udaipur, India

I have a son aged 17 yrs. He had cochlear implanted at the age of 12 yrs. Previously, he attended a school school, but now he is at home. He spent two years taking a computer design course. He did okay, but not as well as he could, because he is unable to understand the language of the classroom. Now, he is not cooperating with us to improve his language, speech, hearing, or listening skills. Our city does not have much support for someone like him. Can you guide me how I can improve my child memory, listening capacity, language and speech. Perhaps you could suggest some tools like books, cds, dvd or online courses.

Question from V. Udaipur, India. Posted June 25, 2009.
Response from Karen Dobkowski & Linda Gottermier - NTID

This is really too large a question for us to answer fully here, but we do have some suggestions:

Bionics offers the Listening Room with various levels for listening practice: www.hearingjourney.com/listening_room/index.cfm?langid=1

Randall’s ESL Cyber Lab offers listening practice for all levels and games: www.esl-lab.com/

Many students with CIs like listening to music and tracking lyrics. www.lyrics.com has many of the words to songs.

For listening and language enrichment our students also use www.manythings.org/ and http://dailyesl.com/.

Our students like using the online dictionary dictionary.reference.com/ for looking up definitions and listening to the pronunciation of the word (there’s an icon that you can click and listen to the word). The site also offers lots of synonyms and antonyms for each word. For more English, here’s another language website that might be helpful with online exercises and software one can purchase http://learn-englishtoday.com/.

In terms of speech (i.e. articulation, pronunciation), there are software and computer programs, but he would need an audiologist to assess his levels and then a speech-language pathologist guide him through some appropriate instruction and practice. Those professionals also might be able to motivate him more than his parents (we know how teenagers are!).