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  1. #1
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    Caring for a child with a hearing impairment...

    Have any of you ever provided care for a child with a hearing impairment? I have been caring for a dck for almost 5 months. The child does wear hearing aids and can hear me, for the most part. Dcp found out that eventually the hearing aids will not work and they are now learning sign language. I also agreed to allow the teachers to come here and provide me with lessons. Hey, I am always up for learning and was always fascinated with sign language. I even used many signs with my own child when she was very, very young.

    All this being said, at times I feel like I am lacking in all sorts of areas in providing care for this child. I felt at points the child's developmental skills were stagnant and I wasn't noticing any progress. Whereas the other kids I care for were conquering leaps and bounds. Ever since the "pros" have been working with this family the child has substantially progressed. I struggle with the idea of terminating and encouraging this family to find another provider who has experience with someone with a hearing impairment. I truly feel this will benefit the entire family.

    I have subtly talked about it with dcm, but she says the family and dck love it here. I am trying to find more resources and techniques I can use to help child and I always implement the things the "pros" suggest. They are excellent tips and have in fact worked! I just constantly feel this internal struggle, because I know dck would do much better with someone who already has experience in this area.

    Just reaching out if anyone else has been in this situation.

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  3. #2
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    I think you are being too hard on yourself! You are doing everything you possibly can to help this child develop and learn and that is commendable. You are willing to go above and beyond to learn new things to help this child out, and what you are learning and doing is working. Take satisfaction in that.
    I think if the family is happy to keep him there, and you are happy to keep him (hearing aside) then do so. He is going to have to learn how to live in the "hearing" world, so he may as well be where he is comfortable.
    However, if he is severly struggling and you can't cope, then I would say terminate. However, I think from the sounds of things it is going fine. It is obvious you are a very caring provider and that little boy is lucky to have you.

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  5. #3
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    Just as the family is learning so are you so it isn't that you are lacking in skill as much as it will be what you lear going forward. You have shown to the family that you are open to learning and incorporating what they learn and the "pros" are willing to work with you too. That is a win-win for everyone.

    You will find that development is not in the same framework as the other children because in essence the child is missing out on one of the sensations that facilitate learning. As the child learns to compensate they will eventually pass through the same stages just not in the same order. Expect times when development stagnates in our eyes but watch for subtle things like child becomes faster at a task or changes one of the steps in the task. They are still progressing just not in a dramatic fashion and we sometimes miss it. Then they will go through a period where they seem to have a new skill every few days but then they take those basics and work on perfecting them so again it becomes weeks/months of subtle changes as they work it all out.

    Once the hearing level goes below a certain level the child will qualify for a different set of schooling criteria and that is when the therapists may start to suggest the child move to a specialized preschool type setting where he will get intensive work. But for now it is important too that child spend as much time with normal hearing children too and observe normal patterns of development while working on specialized skills like sign language.

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  7. #4
    Euphoric ! Dreamalittledream's Avatar
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    I have cared for my 3 year old DCG for 2 years now and was there through 'something's just not right' to referral, assessment and treatment (hearing aids/speech therapy/occupational therapy). Each medical support person came right into the daycare with me (as well as at home with the family) & I loved it! She is fortunate (unlike your daycare child) in that the hearing aids do work and her hearing has not decreased over time. She is doing amazingly well. When she first got the hearing aids I worked it into circle time (tying in her cool new hearing machine & not to touch the wires, aids...etc.). The parents, of course were very concerned if I was okay with keeping her. With so many changes in her life would I dream of changing that too...absolutely not (nor would I ever dream of raising my rate for this child, that would just be really insensitive IMO).
    Children are great imitators.
    So give them something great to imitate.

    ~Anonymous~

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  9. #5
    Expansive... Artsand crafts's Avatar
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    Thank you ladies for posting your advice. I have never had a kid with hearing problems or anything in that line. Since my kids usually enrolled when they are pretty young I have wondered what would I do. I have had kids with allergies and food sensitiveness and have never even dreamed to term for that reason. We've just changed diets and/or habits or get parents to bring food, but I am not sure I would feel qualified for dealing with something like that. I think the best I can get from these posts is to ask for help from parents and trained people. I am with you DreamLittleDream in the sense that letting the child go would be hard for her, but in no way I am judging if someone else does not feel qualified and thinks that the best for the child if go with someone else. Being in that position must be very difficult. Letting go could sometimes be a better decision that ending up overwhelmed.
    Last edited by Artsand crafts; 04-27-2013 at 07:17 PM.

  10. #6
    Euphoric ! Dreamalittledream's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artsand crafts View Post
    Letting go could sometimes be a better decision that ending up overwhelmed.
    . Very well said
    Children are great imitators.
    So give them something great to imitate.

    ~Anonymous~

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  12. #7
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    In the grand scheme of disabilities a hearing impairment is fairly easy to incorporate into the daycare. Biggest thing is assume the child may need personal messages so standing near that child when you say lunchtime or everyone come for storytime will make it easier for her to hear you amidst the noisy room.

    I think were should I term or not issues come up is when we are dealing with a physical disability where a child might need carried or lifted longer than normal so can the caregiver's body handle that or a child with learning disabilities where it turns to frustration for the child and therefore behaviour issues surface.

    My only caution is to remember that the other children have needs too. I had a child with down syndrome and although it was wonderful when the therapists first started coming it became disruptive as they got demanding on me asking me to take the other children for a specific activity or wanting to use my basement playroom for therapy and expecting me to stay upstairs. Problem was the child wanted to be with us. Eventually we stopped the visits and mom arranged to take off one afternoon a week from work so it could be done at her house. But the difference was the therapist wanted to work one on one with the child not within the confines of the daycare group. When the OT and PT used to come to my house for my own daughter they observed her within the group and often let the other kids have a turn doign whatever exercises they were doing with Brianne. It was during one of those visits that she picked up on issues with one of my daycare children and brought me info to share with the family. So much depends on the therapists.

    For sign langauge there is a Sign with Me program that can be used with the entire group so that the others will learn to communicate too.

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