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 S.U., London

My 10-year-old deaf daughter does not want to study.she always says that she is tired of studying. How can I help?

Question from S.U., London. Posted October 3, 2011.
Response from Jennifer Adams - NTID

Of course, this is an issue that is not limited to deaf children, but studying can be a bigger issue for them if they have trouble with reading or understanding what is happening in the classroom. My suggestion is to set up a specific study area and a basket that has the school supplies she needs: pencils, ruler, pencil sharpener, markers and whatever other things she says she needs.  It would probably help her to have a set time to do her homework every day.  Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to getting her to sit down to do the work.  You will need to give her a reward for doing the work and probably hold back something she likes if she doesn’t do her homework.  After a while of doing this (can’t predict how long), she should fall into a routine of doing her home work.

The other possibility is that the homework is too difficult for her.  If her complaint is that she doesn’t understand what to do with the homework , you will have to be in touch with her teacher at school and be persistent about talking to the teacher when your daughter says she doesn’t understand.  Sometimes, teachers are busy and think a student understands when she really doesn’t (especially true for deaf children who might think they understand in class but realized later they really do not).  It’s helpful for the teacher if you call and share that your daughter doesn’t understand the material.  Then the teacher can go back and re-teach it in a new way that your daughter will understand.  If the teacher does not do anything to help your daughter, then you might have to talk to the principal.