Parent’s FAQsHave a question? The Child’s Voice Parent Education Committee, made up of teachers and  specialists, offers answers to questions ranging from educational issues, mainstream preparation, behavior suggestions and more. Don’t see an answer to your questions here? Submit your question by emailing the committee.

Questions

  • Are there resources for my college bound student?
  • What are some ideas for packing my student a healthy lunch?
  • What are some do’s regarding good sleeping habits for children?
  • What should I do before my child starts school?
  • How does the PII curriculum match that of the mainstream school(s)?
  • How can I best prepare my child for the mainstream?
  • My child demonstrates problem behaviors if his typical routine is altered. Might this be due to his deafness?
  • How do you know as a parent that your child is ready to be mainstreamed?
  • How do you keep a positive outlook, when everything I’ve heard is how scary the mainstream is?
  • When should my child begin using an FM System?
  • How does an FM System help a child in the classroom?
  • Would an FM System help a child in the home?
  • …more to come!

Answers
Q: Are there resources for my college bound student?
A: Yes if you go to http://www.bestcolleges.com/resources/disabled-students/ you will find a listing of some of the opportunities for your child.
back to top

Q:What are some ideas for packing my student a healthy lunch?
A: *Think small- Divvy up snack-style foods- pita chips and hummus, dry cereal, orange slices, bite-size cheese chunks, baby carrots and dip and mini muffins- into small lidded containers.
*Pack the Pasta- If there’s one healthy food that never fails to get a thumbs-up, it’s pasta. Stick to varieties that are easy to eat (think elbow or penne, not spaghetti) and nutritious (choose whole-grain or veggie-packed options). Keep them warm in a thermos (a little butter or olive oil will keep them from clumping together). Put in an assortment of potential pasta toppers your child can add, like strips of grilled chicken or mini meatballs, tomato sauce and a shaker of shredded cheese. Toss in a mini salad (some grated carrots and cucumbers dabbed with ranch dressing) on the side.
*Eat the ABCs- Your child is probably learning their letters. Why not keep teaching them at lunchtime? Use an alphabet cookie cutter (or a knife) to slice a sandwich into the shape of, say, the letter C. Then add other foods that start with C, like dried cranberries, some corn, carrots or string cheese. Even better: invite your child to help you come up with some healthy lunchbox ideas for different letters of the alphabet.
back to top

Q:What are some do’s regarding good sleeping habits for children?
A: * DO help them get to bed. Nothing ensures a peaceful night like an active day. Give your child plenty of opportunity to exercise their mind and body and you’ll have one happy – and pooped – camper come bedtime. Even rainy days don’t have to mean sleepless nights: Color, paint, stack blocks, play dress-up, build pillow forts, play charades, anything to keep your little go-getter going and going.
* DO keep it simple. There’s no great mystery to the best bedtime routine. It’s all about the three Bs: Bath, books, and bed. Go ahead and experiment with the right mix of bedtime activities for your child, but resist tinkering with the basic formula too much. The more parts you add — a song, an extra story, or a pillow fluff — the less shut-eye they gets.
* DO keep it consistent. They hide it well, but children crave routine. So if bedtime is 7:30, aim to hit the mark within 15 minutes either way every day. They will probably try their best to buck the system, but ignore their pleas for “five more minutes” and plow on through to lights-out. Believe it or not, their resistance will weaken.
* DO offer some support. Whether your child’s struggling with fear of the dark or separation anxiety, nighttime can be a scary time. Having something comforting like a night-light or a lovey can help ease their anxiety. Lots of hugs and kisses don’t hurt either.
back to top

Q:What should I do before my child starts school?
A: Before the new school year begins, find out as much as you can about the school as schools (even those in the same district) can differ greatly. Ask to see how the school compares to others in the districts and familiarize yourself with the school website. Obtain a current school handbook. This will help you familiarzie yourself with teaching methods/materials used, time spent on each subject, how progress is measured, etc. Other great questions to ask; Is your school meeting the state standards/ guidelines? Are teachers highly qualified?

If your child is entering kindergarten, reserach what areas are emphasized and how focused academic instruction is. But regardless of your child’s age, talk with them about school. Emphasize the importance of school and learning.
back to top

Q:How does the PII curriculum match that of the mainstream school(s)?
A: In regards to how our PII curriculum aligns with the mainstream: First of all, our school is in the process of aligning all of PII with the Common Core State Standards. This is a work in progress and will be ongoing. In the meantime, the teachers are aware of the CCSS and are supplementing their current curriculums with activities to cover the standards.

We also surveyed many of our school districts that we serve and many of them were using Everyday Mathematics. We implemented Everyday Math about 8 years ago. We also began using one of the Houghton Mifflin Reading Curriculums. We use Michael Heggarty’s Phonemic Awareness Program, which is also used by many mainstream schools as well for our Kindergarten, First and Second Graders. We use authentic assessments such as Fountas and Pinnell to evaluate the children’s reading levels.
back to top

Q: My child demonstrates problem behaviors if his typical routine is altered. Might this be due to his deafness?
A: Deafness and hearing loss do not cause this behavior; however; children who have limited language may become more frustrated when their routine is changed. Children need to have a sense of control, which is reduced when they cannot communicate easily.

By using a visual schedule and by preparing your child before a big change, their life will be more predictable, increasing their sense of control.
back to top

Q: How do you know, as a parent, that your child is ready to be mainstreamed?
A: When your child demonstrates the following things, it’s a strong indication that your child is ready. However, be sure to speak with your child’s teacher if you have concerns.
Age appropriate academic skills (reading and math),
Age appropriate social skills,
Self-advocacy skills, such as repair strategies,
Independence with hearing devices,
Problem solving skills,
Internal motivation and
Work ethic.
back to top

Q: How do you keep a positive outlook, when everything I’ve heard is how scary the mainstream is?
A: The mainstream should not be scary.

The mainstream is very different for you as a parent compared to your experience at Child’s Voice. However, at Child’s Voice and through your school district, there are many tools and support systems to help you through the transition process. Everyone wants your child to succeed!

The mainstream is also very different for your child. But, your child has been given a great start here at Child’s Voice. They have learned the tools, skills and confidence. If you’ve given your child exposure to situations with hearing children in extracurricular activities outside of Child’s Voice, that will aid in the transition even further.

The Mainstream Outreach Program follows children in their schools for two years and beyond to ensure each graduate’s success. Find out more about the Mainstream Outreach Program – CLICK HERE!

back to top

Q: When should my child begin using an FM System?
A: The child needs enough language and self-advocacy to tell not only when their hearing device is not working, but also if the FM is not working.

After receiving instruction, the child needs to be physically able to insert and remove receivers onto their hearing device independently.

Most children graduating from Child’s Voice will have been exposed to an FM system.

back to top

Q: How does an FM System help a child in the classroom?
A: The FM System allows the primary signal (speech) not to become distorted by noise, reverberation (echo), or distance from the speaker. The listener receives a complete speech signal.

back to top

Q: Would an FM System help a child in the home?
A: Listening environments in the home can be as difficult as in a school. There is noise, reverberation (echo), and the speaker (or even a TV) can be at a distance from the listener. The child may play sports and be at a distance from his/her coach. An FM System allows the listener to receive a complete speech signal.

back to top

Q: As far as language and vocabulary development, is it normal to hear a lot of non-words and sentences with words that don’t make any sense (syntax errors)?
A: It is normal for children to use jargon as their language develops. That shows the child knows there is something that is supposed to be there, and they don’t know what that is. They are adding “their own words” instead.

back to top

Q: When I talk to my son, I don’t always correct his speech. For example, if he omits a word, I sometimes carry on a conversation. Should I do this, or should I correct first and then continue?
A: It is important to correct your child’s language as often as you can. The more you correct, the more you train your child’s ear (and brain) to hear what sounds “right.” But, you also have to pick your battles when it comes to correcting language.

If your child omits a single word or misuses a single word, you can quickly model the phrase/sentence correctly, and then have your child imitate it. If your child’s language is very jumbled, try to figure out what your child is attempting to express to you. Then, at your child’s language level, rephrase it so it makes sense. Provide the words he/she is missing, modeling correct language and expect your child to repeat that language.

The older your child gets, the more you can just use a reminder, such as, “Can you fix that?”.
back to top

Q: How can I best prepare my child for mainstream?
A: There are many ways to prepare your child for the mainstream. Here are just a few:
Get your child involved in extracurricular activities to provide experience with large groups and hearing peers.
Read often at home. Discuss the meaning of new words. Ask comprehension questions.
Correct and expand language whenever possible at home.
Develop social skills.
Promote independence and internal motivation.