MWHawks_J15Go Hawks! Some of our students celebrating the win with Dr. Michele.
Coming off the celebrations for our Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks and listening to all their speeches, made one point very clear…This winning team actually functions as a TEAM. That got me thinking about teamwork and skills needed to be a successful team member. My next step was thinking about social skills development and reminded me of the Minnesota Social Skills Checklist for Students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing Pre-K to High School. Click here for the complete document: MWdocument_June2015

Although this is a document used by teachers, I think you might be interested to see what skills students should be developing so you too can assist in their progress. The areas looked at are: social interactions, pragmatics or language as it relates to social communication, friendship and self-esteem. At Child’s Voice, we have found many of our students need direct instruction in these areas. These types of skills are most often learned incidentally, which students who are deaf/hard of hearing often miss due to the challenges of their hearing loss.

In the upcoming 2015-2016 academic year, Child’s Voice will be adding a part-time social worker to our professional team. This person, among other duties, will assist classroom teachers and therapists—and perhaps yourself –in taking stock on these areas for all our students.

For our pre-school students (ages 3-6) I have seen many of the listed behaviors…

  1. SELF-CONCEPT: we ask our students almost daily to introduce himself/herself to others. With all the tours we give, students have loads of practice!
  2. FRIENDSHIP: in our centers, I see the children chose one or two playmates.
  3. SOCIAL INTERACTION: all students are encouraged to use social phrases and manner. I heard our Business Manager commenting on how he liked one child’s ‘flashing shoes’ with the child immediately responding, “Thank you!”
  4. PRAGMATICS: our Primary II (5-8 years old) students are directly taught that if they do not hear or understand then to ask for help.

Please take the time to read over this document. With these skills your child will be the true champion!

Warmest Regards,
Dr. Michele