Central Institute for the Deaf https://cid.edu Teaching children who are deaf and hard of hearing to listen, talk, read and succeed. Fri, 16 Nov 2018 19:33:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Speech-Language (and Literacy?) Pathologists https://cid.edu/2018/11/12/speech-language-and-literacy-pathologists/ https://cid.edu/2018/11/12/speech-language-and-literacy-pathologists/#respond Mon, 12 Nov 2018 16:25:29 +0000 https://cid.edu/?p=22703 The post Speech-Language (and Literacy?) Pathologists appeared first on Central Institute for the Deaf.

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Speech-Language (and Literacy?) Pathologists

by Jessica Klein, MS, CCC-SLP

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are busy.  Their caseload numbers are high, their list of students in need of an evaluation is continually growing, and IEP meetings are often dispersed throughout their day.  They are targeting goals for speech, language, social skills and auditory development. So asking them to address literacy skills, too, seems absurd.  Or is it?

To become efficient readers, students must develop two sets of skills: code-based skills and meaning-based skills.  Code-based skills include those skills necessary to “learn to read,” including, phonological awareness, alphabetic knowledge and print concepts.  Meaning-based skills include those skills necessary to “read to learn,” such as, vocabulary knowledge and language comprehension.  Both sets of skills are rooted in speech and language, and both are skills that likely are already being woven into sessions with SLPs.

It is easy to see how SLPs are supporting the meaning-based skills of reading.  Targeting vocabulary and teaching the syntax of language are being addressed with many students throughout the SLP’s day. The vocabulary being reinforced in sessions with SLPs likely even comes straight from text that is being taught in the classroom.  What isn’t always as obvious is how SLPs are supporting the code-based skills of literacy.

The term phonological awareness refers to one’s ability to manipulate the sounds of a language.  It encompasses a variety of skills, including, rhyming, counting syllables and phonemic awareness.  Phonemic awareness can then be broken down even further into the skills of being able to isolate, blend, add, delete and substitute sounds.

When SLPs work on articulation goals with students, regardless of the student’s level (producing a target sound in isolation, within a word, or in a sentence), the following progression often occurs: the target sound is produced in isolation; the target sound is blended into a word, the awareness of what sound should not be substituted is addressed.  This sequence of events, while necessary to meet articulation goals, is also supporting the development of phonological awareness, a key component in learning to read.

SLPs are busy.  They are targeting speech and language and all of the many skills that fall under the umbrella of these two terms.  They are writing goals, planning lessons, attending meetings and more.  They are supporting literacy… and they might not even realize it.

Jessica Klein began working as a speech-language pathologist at CID in 2004, assessing and treating children from birth-age 12.  Klein co-wrote the “Targeting Speech Skills for Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing” workshop, presenting annually at CID as well as at Southeast Missouri State University and at the Missouri Speech and Hearing Association conference.  In 2011 she accepted a job as a speech language pathologist in one of St. Louis’ charter schools.  While in the public school setting, Klein assessed and provided speech and language services to students in kindergarten-fourth grade with varying speech and language needs.  She was a member of the school’s CARE team, collaborating with teachers and specialists to develop interventions for students struggling in the classroom.  In 2015 Klein returned to CID ready to share her public school experiences with colleagues to help better prepare CID students for the mainstream setting.   Since her return, she has written an online course about developing literacy skills in children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing as well as spoken about literacy skills and case managing Deaf and Hard of Hearing students at Fontbonne University.  She currently serves as the Associate Coordinator for the CID Emerson Center for Professional Development.

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Teaching the teachers: The importance of continuing education https://cid.edu/2018/10/24/teaching-the-teachers-the-importance-of-continuing-education/ https://cid.edu/2018/10/24/teaching-the-teachers-the-importance-of-continuing-education/#respond Wed, 24 Oct 2018 18:56:41 +0000 https://cid.edu/?p=22502 The post Teaching the teachers: The importance of continuing education appeared first on Central Institute for the Deaf.

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Teaching the teachers: The importance of continuing education

by Jessica Klein, MS, CCC-SLP

At CID, we are in the heart of workshop and convention season.  We wrapped up our workshop week, had two of our professionals attend and present at the Clarke conference and are now gearing up for the ASHA convention (with both a poster presentation and a booth… not to mention attending sessions!).  With all of the busyness that these events bring, it is important that we remember why it is essential that professionals continue their education (and it’s more than just to maintain that license!).

The times they are a changin’ (and have been changing) in the field of deaf education.  Today, more and more students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing are being taught within the regular classroom in a mainstream setting.  This is for a variety of reasons, including: the passing of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), increasing technologies (e.g., cochlear implants, FM systems) and a wider variety of professionals available to support students with hearing loss (e.g., interpreters and paraprofessionals) (Foster and Cue, 2009).  With this shift in student placement, comes the need for teachers of the deaf to shift their way of teaching.

Whereas in the past, teachers of the deaf were trained to provide direct instruction individually or to a small group of students, they are now often required to provide consultative services for general education teachers (Foster and Cue, 2009).   These consultative services can include: providing strategies for working with students with hearing loss, offering instruction about reading audiograms and handling devices, and planning lessons alongside the general education teacher.  And although it is encouraging that students with hearing loss are being included in the general education classroom, the preparedness of teachers of the deaf to assume this changing role should be considered.  A study conducted by Susan Foster and Katie Cue found that of the skills that itinerant teachers of the deaf are expected to use on a daily basis, only 17% of these were learned in educational preparedness programs; a majority of them (65%) were learned while on the job.

These statistics raise the question of, how can we better prepare professionals before they enter the field of deaf education, as well as reiterate the need for consistent and ongoing continuing education for those professionals already in the field.

With technological advances and new legislature, not to mention serving students with additional diagnoses, deaf education is continually evolving.  And with continual changes, comes the need for continual learning.  If we want students to reach their full potential, we must reach ours, too.

Let CID help with your continuing education needs.  Click on this link for information about our professional development offerings.

Jessica Klein began working as a speech-language pathologist at CID in 2004, assessing and treating children from birth-age 12.  Klein co-wrote the “Targeting Speech Skills for Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing” workshop, presenting annually at CID as well as at Southeast Missouri State University and at the Missouri Speech and Hearing Association conference.  In 2011 she accepted a job as a speech language pathologist in one of St. Louis’ charter schools.  While in the public school setting, Klein assessed and provided speech and language services to students in kindergarten-fourth grade with varying speech and language needs.  She was a member of the school’s CARE team, collaborating with teachers and specialists to develop interventions for students struggling in the classroom.  In 2015 Klein returned to CID ready to share her public school experiences with colleagues to help better prepare CID students for the mainstream setting.   Since her return, she has written an online course about developing literacy skills in children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing as well as spoken about literacy skills and case managing Deaf and Hard of Hearing students at Fontbonne University.  She currently serves as the Associate Coordinator for the CID Emerson Center for Professional Development.

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The early bird gets the worm: Using the ESP to support early listeners’ language skills https://cid.edu/2018/10/04/the-early-bird-gets-the-worm-using-the-esp-to-support-early-listeners-language-skills/ https://cid.edu/2018/10/04/the-early-bird-gets-the-worm-using-the-esp-to-support-early-listeners-language-skills/#respond Thu, 04 Oct 2018 16:48:35 +0000 https://cid.edu/?p=22406 The post The early bird gets the worm: Using the ESP to support early listeners’ language skills appeared first on Central Institute for the Deaf.

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The early bird gets the worm: Using the ESP to support early listeners’ language skills

by Kathy Holtman, AuD, CCC-A

How early is too early for speech perception tasks? With the CID ESP – Early Speech Perception test, the early language learner can be an early bird.

The CID ESP is a flexible tool for estimating the best strategies for the inherently challenging, young language learner to move through auditory training. The secret to identifying early language objectives is in the play.

First, let’s break down the formal ESP: In clinic, the CID ESP is a speech perception measure now included in the hierarchy of the Pediatric Minimum Speech Test Battery (PMSTB) protocol. ESP test validity was obtained with children who were 4 to 15 years old and had a pure tone average in the profound range. It wasn’t the age of the child that mattered – but the level of language experience and auditory training with visual, auditory + visual and auditory-only methods. The ESP standard version employs a point-to-picture task for older children. The ESP low-verbal version requires the child to manipulate toys. These two testing methods enable you to work at a language level appropriate to the childIf the child can complete the standard or low-verbal ESP method, then read the manual! The methods of moving through pattern perception skills to monosyllabic word discrimination are outlined well there.

As a result of mandated newborn hearing screenings, many children enter today’s audiology clinics at a much younger age. Accordingly, these children may not have the language or cognitive skills to complete formal speech perception testing. When early identification and access to language supports lead a child to your audiology clinic before he is old enough or mature enough to do the ESP test, you will likely want to postpone formal speech perception tasks. The ESP provides alternative methods for test administration at such a child’s skill level.

The ESP offers fun training activities that can be used as a precursor to formal speech perception testing. Use it informally as soon as the child can learn the conditioned play task. As long as they have emerging play and wait skills, children at or under 2 years old can play through the training tasks. These tasks are highly flexible and great for collecting data to get to a starting point for auditory training and/or to show informal effects of auditory training. The toys in the ESP kit can provide much-needed sensory experiences that keep a child engaged, particularly in cases where rote speech perception tasks do not. Selecting toys based on the child’s familiarity with them makes the task more meaningful than repeating words like “mew” (shout out to CID’s W22 list for adults!).

A child with early or emerging language skills may begin the auditory training experience with markedly dissimilar sound patterns and progress to more difficult discrimination tasks as his language sophistication grows. The cues you give prior to the beginning of the test can help determine if the item is familiar to the child. Consider using supports such as lipreading and other visual cues in the beginning, especially to help identify familiar items.

The ESP training tasks could begin with playing at pattern perception in live voice. An audiologist may have the child move a train toy toward a toy bucket when he hears a continual /ah/ sound — or encourage the child to jump a bunny into a bucket after hearing a staccato “hop hop hop.” Playing within a small set of two items can be motivating for a child with early verbal skills! Modifying the training task and keeping it fun may be the catalyst he needs to identify stimuli differences and begin the journey to formal speech perception testing.

As audiologists, we want auditory training to build success toward developing language skills.

  • Use a visual or auditory sandwich strategy to familiarize the child with each task.
  • Try using bone oscillator vibration or hand-over-hand on the throat, paired with voice to accentuate the pattern lengths.
  • Start with monitored live voice (and grab a play microphone if you can!).
  • On the path toward more formal testing, transition from live voice toward monitored live voice then recorded stimuli.
  • Move around the room or sit on the floor while training informally. Movement may encourage participation.
  • Engage parents/caregivers in the training task.
  • Build upon the time spent in the task: The formal ESP may take 20 minutes, but you can start with 5 minutes in training!
  • Pretend to eat the ESP food toys. (They look realistic – YUM!)
  • Pair the pattern differences with tactile movement along the child’s arm.
  • Allow older children to choose the toys in the set or to use a pointer with the picture cards. They may even find pictures in magazines to use.

The end goal of obtaining formal speech perception data remains the same. In the early stages of language learning, an informal approach to the ESP can playfully lead steadily toward category 4 discrimination of pointing out monosyllabic differences such as “bird” versus “ball.” After all, a task that starts out as fun may end up building language.

Click here to learn more about the ESP.

Kathy Holtman currently serves as a pediatric audiologist at CID-Central Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis, Missouri

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How to make an experience story for students with hearing loss https://cid.edu/2018/09/26/how-to-make-an-experience-story-for-students-with-hearing-loss/ https://cid.edu/2018/09/26/how-to-make-an-experience-story-for-students-with-hearing-loss/#respond Wed, 26 Sep 2018 20:26:52 +0000 https://cid.edu/?p=22357 The post How to make an experience story for students with hearing loss appeared first on Central Institute for the Deaf.

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How to make an experience story for students with hearing loss

by Audrey Nemeth, M.S.D.E, CED, LSLS Cert. AVEd

Fall is here, and with its arrival comes the opportunity for field trips…to the pumpkin patch, to pick apples, you name it!  It’s simple to turn these fun outings (or any activity done in your classroom) into a language-rich experience story that serves your students with hearing loss.

Q: What is an experience story?

An experience story is a written and illustrated account of a language experience. Language experiences are teacher-planned and teacher-directed activities with specific vocabulary and language targets.  They are also motivating to students.  Experience stories can be written about novel experiences, such as going on a field trip, or daily activities that are part of your routine, like making a snack.

Q: How do I make an experience story?

1. Choose language targets.

The language targets should be achievable and relevant to the student’s daily life.

2. Choose the activity.

The chosen activity should be hands-on, motivating and age appropriate.  Typically, the activity is also relevant to the classroom’s current theme or unit being studied.

3. Conduct the activity.

When leading the activity or engaging students in the experience, take pictures at key moments (e.g., the students boarding the bus for a field trip or the students mixing ingredients to make a snack).  If taking pictures is not an option, you can always draw or create (e.g., Google images) the pictures later.

4. Write the experience story

Experience stories can be, and often should be, written with the students.  Writing the story together provides students with the opportunity to work on answering questions and formulating responses using target language structures.  It also helps students to develop print awareness.  The content of the story can include target vocabulary, sequencing words, or any language structures that are being targeted (e.g., past tense verbs, pronouns, conjunctions, etc.).

5. PRACTICE

Use the experience story to support language, speech, auditory skills and reading readiness. Print can be highlighted and/or underlined to help draw the student’s attention to any words or structures that require more practice.  Send home a copy of the experience story with each student for additional practice at home.

Try watching this video to see an example of an experience story being written!

Audrey Nemeth has been working as a Teacher of the Deaf for twelve years, serving primarily children ages three-five at CID, as well as at the Moog Center for Deaf Education.  She has taught a variety of language levels, and the importance of vocabulary, repetition and speech development can be observed in every lesson she teaches.

In addition to teaching children with hearing loss, Audrey provides parent/caregiver support on a weekly, bi-monthly, and monthly basis.  These sessions consist of: presenting information about hearing loss; discussing strategies, techniques, and activities for helping parents teach their children to talk, and providing embedded coaching to parents to improve their child’s communication skills.

Audrey also has a passion for teaching other professionals. For the past nine years, she has provided supervision and mentorship to student teachers from a variety of universities.

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Reducing background noise in the classroom and optimizing your acoustic environment https://cid.edu/2018/09/11/reducing-background-noise-in-the-classroom-and-optimizing-your-acoustic-environment/ https://cid.edu/2018/09/11/reducing-background-noise-in-the-classroom-and-optimizing-your-acoustic-environment/#respond Tue, 11 Sep 2018 15:07:38 +0000 https://cid.edu/?p=22272 The post Reducing background noise in the classroom and optimizing your acoustic environment appeared first on Central Institute for the Deaf.

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Reducing background noise in the classroom and optimizing your acoustic environment

by Jessica Klein, MS, CCC-SLP
with contributions from Emily Humphrey, MSDE, CED

What is background noise and what can it affect?

Background noise is any noise present that interferes with the speaker.  It can affect the clarity of speech heard, as well as the child’s attention to tasks and behavior in the classroom.

Who does background noise affect?

Background noise affects many children, not just children with hearing loss!  Background noise can affect children with attention and behavior disorders, children with language delays, bilingual children, and children with auditory processing disorder.

Where is background noise commonly heard?

In a school, background noise can be heard in the classroom, in the cafeteria, in the hallways, on the playground… everywhere!

When is background noise present?

Although there are times of the day in which background noise will not be as great, it is something that, realistically, is unavoidable.  Although you can (somewhat!) control the voices in your classroom, it is nearly impossible to control voices in the hallway, yelling on the playground, or sounds within the environment (e.g., construction, traffic, a loud AC unit, etc.).

Why is it important to reduce background noise in the classroom?

Being mindful of and making attempts to minimize background noise will benefit the entire class.  Decreasing background noise increases all students’ access to clear speech.  This allows students to increase their attention and participation, while decreasing their frustration level (and the negative behaviors that can often accompany frustration).

How can background noise be reduced?

Thankfully there are some quick and affordable options to decrease noise in the classroom and create a listening and learning-friendly environment for students.

  • Use rugs or carpeting: Placing rugs or carpet around the room helps to absorb sound, while also making the room more visually appealing and comfortable for students.
  • Hang soft materials on the walls: Corkboards and feltboards can be used to display important information and students’ work, while also serving to absorb noise.
  • Place soft tips on the bottom of chair and tables: Chairs and tables are moved around frequently in the classroom, causing unnecessary noise. Adding soft tips to the bottoms of furniture can decrease this noise significantly.
  • Hang curtains and blinds on the windows: Aside from serving their purpose to avoid glares from the sunlight, curtains and blinds can be used to help to absorb noise occurring in the classroom, as well as outside the classroom.
  • Close doors and windows: The world is noisy, and although we can’t control all of the outside distractions, we can limit their impact on the noise in the classroom by closing doors and windows when possible.
  • Turn off loud noise sources: It’s inevitable that noise-producing equipment (e.g., projectors, fans, heaters) is needed in the classroom; however, when this equipment is not being used, turn it off. This will not only reduce noise but also save energy.
  • Re-arrange furniture: Placing students’ desks and workspaces throughout the room, instead of in rows, reduces the amount of sound bouncing off of walls.
  • Educate students: Hold students to the expectation of only talking when it is their turn. Although a common classroom rule, students can be taught that this is not only respectful behavior but also a simple way to decrease noise.

Jessica Klein began working as a speech-language pathologist at CID in 2004, assessing and treating children from birth-age 12.  Klein co-wrote the “Targeting Speech Skills for Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing” workshop, presenting annually at CID as well as at Southeast Missouri State University and at the Missouri Speech and Hearing Association conference.  In 2011 she accepted a job as a speech language pathologist in one of St. Louis’ charter schools.  While in the public school setting, Klein assessed and provided speech and language services to students in kindergarten-fourth grade with varying speech and language needs.  She was a member of the school’s CARE team, collaborating with teachers and specialists to develop interventions for students struggling in the classroom.  In 2015 Klein returned to CID ready to share her public school experiences with colleagues to help better prepare CID students for the mainstream setting.   Since her return, she has written a webinar about developing literacy skills in children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing as well as spoken about literacy skills and case managing Deaf and Hard of Hearing students at Fontbonne University.  She currently provides speech and language assessments and intervention to students in the Pre-K and Primary departments.

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Tips for coaching parents and caregivers during the preschool years https://cid.edu/2018/08/27/tips-for-coaching-parents-and-caregivers-during-the-preschool-years/ https://cid.edu/2018/08/27/tips-for-coaching-parents-and-caregivers-during-the-preschool-years/#respond Mon, 27 Aug 2018 15:16:49 +0000 https://cid.edu/?p=22167 The post Tips for coaching parents and caregivers during the preschool years appeared first on Central Institute for the Deaf.

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Tips for coaching parents and caregivers during the preschool years

by Audrey Nemeth, M.S.D.E, CED, LSLS Cert. AVEd

Coaching parents* is one the best ways to bridge the gap between home and school. It not only builds relationships with parents, but it provides the necessary tools to promote language, vocabulary and speech development at home.

Whether you have parents that have participated in early intervention since birth or are stepping into a classroom for the first time, coaching preschool-aged children can have a critical impact on the students’ development.

Here are a few tips I have gathered over the years…

Bring something from home

Have the parents bring something from home. This can be a toy, a game, a book…anything!  Giving the parents a chance to bring something from home is much more meaningful for the parents and the students. The parents can also feel empowered, knowing that they are able to choose the ‘right’ activity. SPOILER: there are no right or wrong activities!  Having them choose the activity will also promote carryover at home; they already have the materials. Some of my best sessions have used the simplest supplies.  For example… a bag of the child’s clothes, a bag of balls, playdough, card games, etc.

Choose 1-2 targets

As teachers, we are trained to simultaneously work on speech, language, vocabulary, and pragmatic skills all while maintaining the attention of a 4 year old, and having FUN! Parents should only focus on one-two targets each session. They should be aware of the goals at the beginning of the session and continue to be reminded throughout. There will be a lot of other targets that you, or they, will want to work on, but remember, focus on only one-two.  This means that, as the teacher, you will need to let go of your own goals and focus on the parents’. Reducing the number of targets will keep the session manageable and set the parents up for success.

The parents run the show

Let the parents be in charge.  Have them seated as the primary teacher, wearing the DM and having control of the materials.  I position myself off to the side or make sure I am leaning away from the table to ensure that the parents feel like they are in charge. I use the embedded coaching model so the parent is running the show, and I am guiding from the sidelines. I don’t correct the child directly but coach the parent to make the corrections.

Summarize, summarize, summarize

Be sure to summarize key points at the end of the session. I like to do a quick write up and then put it in the student’s backpack the next day.  The three things I include are: what they did well, what they can continue to work on and the plan for the next session.  It’s also helpful to plan your next session before the parents leave.

As teachers, our focus tends to be on what we can do in the classroom to ensure the success of our students; however, when we shift our attention on to what the parents can do at home for their children, we begin to see success…two-fold.

————–

*Although coaching sessions may be conducted with either parents or caregivers, in this blog post the term “parents” will be used.

Audrey Nemeth has been working as a Teacher of the Deaf for twelve years, serving primarily children ages three-five at CID, as well as at the Moog Center for Deaf Education.  She has taught a variety of language levels, and the importance of vocabulary, repetition and speech development can be observed in every lesson she teaches.

In addition to teaching children with hearing loss, Audrey provides parent/caregiver support on a weekly, bi-monthly, and monthly basis.  These sessions consist of: presenting information about hearing loss; discussing strategies, techniques, and activities for helping parents teach their children to talk, and providing embedded coaching to parents to improve their child’s communication skills.

Audrey also has a passion for teaching other professionals. For the past nine years, she has provided supervision and mentorship to student teachers from a variety of universities.

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Are teachers judging a book by its behavior? https://cid.edu/2018/08/13/are-teachers-judging-a-book-by-its-behavior/ https://cid.edu/2018/08/13/are-teachers-judging-a-book-by-its-behavior/#respond Mon, 13 Aug 2018 15:12:31 +0000 https://cid.edu/?p=22086 The post Are teachers judging a book by its behavior? appeared first on Central Institute for the Deaf.

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Are teachers judging a book by its behavior?

by Jennifer Manley, MS, CED

As educators, we know many typical reasons why children may have behavioral challenges: a lack of skills, a desire for attention or power, an inappropriate curriculum or environment, or physiological factors such as a lack of sleep or improper nutrition. However, when we think about children who are deaf or hard or hearing, some unexpected reasons might be the cause. The table below displays common behavioral frustrations teachers have about their students with hearing loss.  It also shows possible reasons why the student may be displaying that behavior and what the teacher can do about it. It’s important to remember that a quick check of the student’s hearing technology, like hearing aids, implants and/or FM, might reveal that the student is not hearing as well as usual. This could be the cause of each behavior listed here. Understanding spoken language is another challenge that often affects students with hearing loss.  Information or directions presented using higher level language and vocabulary might be the cause of these behaviors.

What Teachers Say Possible Reasons for Behavior Suggested Teacher’s Response
“I know he can hear me. He’s just not paying attention.”
  • Reduce background noise
  • Check the function of  hearing assistive technology (FM/DM)
  • Check listening devices, including hearing assistive devices, to make sure they are working appropriately
  • Provide brain breaks or other times where active listening isn’t required.
“He’s doesn’t follow directions.”
  • He may not have heard the speaker or did not understand the language of what was said.
  • Poor executive function skills
  • Check for comprehension by asking the student to repeat what he is supposed to do.
  • Provide written directions.
  • Have him select a classmate he can ask for help
  • Repeat and rephrase directions.
  • Provide strategies to help with executive functions skills, such as initiation, planning and organizing
  • Reduce background noise
  • Check the function of hearing assistive technology (FM/DM)
  • Check listening devices, including hearing assistive devices, to make sure they are working appropriately
“He clowns around and gives answers that don’t make sense.”
  • He may not have heard the speaker or did not understand the language of what was said.
  • Poor access to sound
  • Check for comprehension by asking the student to repeat the question or statement to which he is responding.
  • Repeat and rephrase what the teacher or other student said.
  • Use print and other visuals to provide information
  • Reduce background noise
  • Check the function of hearing assistive technology (FM/DM)
  • Check listening devices, including hearing assistive devices, to make sure they are working appropriately
“He asks questions that have already been answered.”

“He repeats answers his classmates have already given.”

  • Poor access to sound
  • He may not know how or feel reluctant asking the teacher or classmates to repeat information.
  • Repeat and rephrase what was presented.
  • Teach self-advocacy skills
  • Use print and other visuals to provide information
  • Reduce background noise
  • Check the function of hearing assistive technology (FM/DM)
  • Check listening devices, including hearing assistive devices, to make sure they are working appropriately
“He doesn’t participate during group work.”
  • Teach conversation and self-advocacy skills
  • Have other group members go first.
  • Provide anchor charts with prompts or conversation starters
  • Teach “accountable talk”
  • Check the function of hearing assistive technology (FM/DM)
  • Check listening devices, including hearing assistive devices, to make sure they are working appropriately

By sharing your deaf and hard of hearing behavioral knowledge with general and special educators, you can help them understand and address the frustrating behaviors children with hearing loss commonly display.

Jennifer Manley served as a classroom teacher for students ages 3 to 12 at CID – Central Institute for the Deaf. She is co-author of CID SPICE for Life, an auditory learning curriculum and author of the 2nd edition of CID SPICE.

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Complexity of language input — does it really matter? https://cid.edu/2018/07/31/complexity-of-language-input-does-it-really-matter/ https://cid.edu/2018/07/31/complexity-of-language-input-does-it-really-matter/#respond Tue, 31 Jul 2018 15:03:41 +0000 https://cid.edu/?p=21882 The post Complexity of language input — does it really matter? appeared first on Central Institute for the Deaf.

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Complexity of language input — does it really matter?

by guest authors Sonia Arora, PhD, and Elaine Smolen, MAT, LSLS Cert. AVEd

We have all heard that children develop language through frequent, meaningful language input from their parents and caregivers. But exactly what kind of language input has the most impact for children with hearing loss who are learning to listen and talk? As part of the deaf education research team at Teachers College, Columbia University, we have been exploring answers to this complex question for several years. We are incredibly grateful for the listening and spoken language programs around the country—including CID!—who have introduced us to the wonderful children and families in our study.

Using the innovative Language ENvironment Analysis (LENA) system, we have been able to capture and analyze the everyday auditory environments experienced by three- to five-year-olds who are deaf and hard of hearing. LENA digital language processors, which are worn in a special vest pocket, record and analyze up to 16 continuous hours of spoken language over one day. LENA Pro software then estimates the number of adult words to which each child was exposed, the number of conversational turns in which he or she participated and the number of vocalizations produced by the child each day. In our first study, we looked at this quantity of language input to see how the number of adult words and conversational turns related to children’s development of vocabulary and basic-concepts skills. You can read more about our first study in our previous blog post.

We then had the opportunity to delve more deeply into our recorded data to investigate not just the quantity, but also the quality or complexity of the language input provided by parents and caregivers. For this study, we recorded two full days—one weekday and one weekend day—for 26 three-to-five-year-olds with hearing loss and extracted 30 minutes of a mealtime from each recording. Using a coding scheme adapted from Huttenlocher et al. (2010), we hand-coded transcripts of each mealtime to investigate the complexity of language used by the children and the adults around them. We coded for lexical diversity (the number of unique words used by children and their caregivers), clausal complexity (the ways clauses were combined, such as using a clause as a direct object or joining clauses with and) and syntactic complexity (the number of prepositions, adjectives and other parts of speech that were used).

We found that these three elements of complexity (lexicon, syntax and clauses) were related for both adults and children. Speakers who used many unique words also tended to use more complex syntax and to combine clauses in complex ways. We also found that the quantity of adult language was related to the quantity of child language. As adults engaged in more conversational interactions with their children, the children appeared to vocalize more themselves. Finally, we found that the children with hearing loss in our study used consistently complex language across their weekday and weekend recordings, but the input from the adults around them was not consistent. Adults tended to use more complex language around the children on weekdays (school days!) than on weekend days. We think this points to the continued need to coach and support families in providing linguistically rich environments at home.

The results of our study highlight the importance of improving both the quantity (i.e., talking more) and the quality (i.e., using more complex structures) of language input for children with hearing loss who use listening and spoken language. Thanks to our partner schools, we are continuing to follow up with many of the children in our original study to look at the long-term effects of different types of language input. We hope to learn what specific features (like the quantity of words, number of conversational turns or types of clauses) of the language environment experienced by a young child with hearing loss predict his or her language development one, two or even three years later. Stay tuned!

References

Gilkerson, J., & Anderson, J. (2008). The LENA Natural Language Study. LENA Technical Report: LTR-02 2.

Huttenlocher, J., Waterfall, H., Vasilyeva, M., Vevea, J, & Hedges, L. (2010). Sources of variability in children’s language growth. Cognitive Psychology, 61, 343-365.

Sonia Arora recently graduated with her Ph.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University. During her doctoral experience, she was an an adjunct instructor at Teachers College. Before pursuing her doctorate, Sonia was an itinerant teacher of the d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Lawrence, Kansas. Her education includes a BGS in Speech, Language and Hearing from the University of Kansas and a MS in Education of the d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing from Missouri State University. 

Elaine Smolen is a PhD student and National Leadership Consortium in Sensory Disabilities scholar at Teachers College, Columbia University. She has over eight years’ experience helping children with hearing loss learn to listen and talk, both as a head teacher at Clarke/New York and in an itinerant role.  Elaine now mentors preservice teachers and aspiring LSLS.  She is an adjunct faculty member at Teachers College, Columbia University, and The College of New Jersey. 

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Are your lessons rigorous enough? Mine weren’t. https://cid.edu/2018/07/19/are-your-lessons-rigorous-enough-mine-werent/ https://cid.edu/2018/07/19/are-your-lessons-rigorous-enough-mine-werent/#respond Thu, 19 Jul 2018 16:53:16 +0000 https://cid.edu/?p=21769 The post Are your lessons rigorous enough? Mine weren’t. appeared first on Central Institute for the Deaf.

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Are your lessons rigorous enough? Mine weren’t.

by Julia West, MSSH, CED

As a teacher, my goal has always been for my students to learn successfully and with enjoyment. In my efforts to support them, I have:

  • provided (and sometimes created) materials at their language and reading level.
  • asked questions in language that they can understand and successfully answer.
  • predicted their answers, planned how to address wrong answers and to improve the language of correct answers.
  • given each student as much time as he or she needed to learn the language and information necessary to discuss the topic and demonstrate mastery of the objective.

All this effort, and somehow, I hadn’t included rigor. I learned about this education trend during my formal evaluation with my principal when she asserted that my lessons lacked rigor. She went on to give examples to support her statement, but I was trying to silence the panicked objections that exploded in my mind when I heard the word rigor.

Obviously, this principal was unfamiliar with the challenges of students with hearing loss. They need gentle, supportive instruction. They need structured, scaffolded learning. They need compassionate support. And rigor sounds so … hard and unforgiving.

Now I wonder when and how I developed this image of my students as so fragile. It turns out that they are not fragile at all. And rigor is exactly what my lessons needed.

What is rigor?  In her book, Rigor is NOT a Four-Letter Word,” Elizabeth Blackburn offers this definition.

Creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels, each student is supported so he or she can learn at high levels, and each student demonstrates learning at high levels.

How do you introduce rigor to a pampered class?  First, introduce the Growth Mindset.

Before students are ready to take on rigorous lessons, they need to know that everyone faces challenges on the way to successes. They need to develop a trust for their teacher and their classmates. They need to understand that mistakes and failures will happen and are part of the learning process.

I used a familiar behavior management app, https://www.classdojo.com/. They created a series of animated videos that explain to students that learning requires effort, is difficult sometimes, but is very rewarding in the end. This is the Growth Mindset.

Then Embrace the Grapple

I began with math, abandoning the familiar Gradual Release model (“I do. We do. You do”) and challenged my students to enjoy a good “grapple.”

For me, the word grapple conjures images of alligator wrestling. It is better described by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics as “productive struggle.”

I was told to give the students an unfamiliar problem that they don’t know how to solve. This sounded counter-intuitive, unfair and even a bit unethical. But I trusted my principal in the same way I ask my students to trust me.

So I explained that our principal wanted us to change the way we teach math. I told them it would be difficult at first, but that I was confident they would accept the challenge and do their best. And they did!

The basic structure of my math lessons now is “You do. We do. You do.”

  1. Students grapple (independently, in pairs or teams), trying to solve a new type of problem, then discuss their strategies.
  2. Teacher models problem solving, while thinking aloud. Students imitate teacher’s strategy and thinking aloud at each step in the problem.
  3. Students solve a similar problem, then discuss their strategies. Teacher addresses misconceptions and language.
  4. Students work independently to solve similar problems.

Here’s an example of one of our early grapples. To introduce multiplication, I gave students the following problem and told them grapple with it for 3 minutes.

Jose has 4 mangoes in each of his bags. There are 5 bags of mangoes. How many mangoes does Jose have?

I set a timer for 3 minutes, which was visible to the students. When the timer sounded, each student explained how he or she tried to solve the problem.  The first student said, “I added 4 and 5, so there are 9 mangoes.” He couldn’t explain why he added. Another student said, “I subtracted because there are 5 bags but 4 mangoes are in the bags, so 1 mango is left.”

Benefits of The Grapple

#1 The teacher learns.

By letting the students struggle, I learn their strengths and weaknesses. They calculated correctly but didn’t read the problem carefully enough to understand it. I now require my students to draw a picture during their grapple time. Then they have to explain how the picture relates to text of the problem and to their calculation.  They use sentence stems like those below to explain their thinking.

Sentence stems:

I drew    (number)   (objects)    because the problem says ______________.

Then I  _(added, subtracted, multiplied, divided)_because the problem says ________.

They still make mistakes, of course, and that’s when I learn even more about what support they need.

#2 The students learn.

This was the biggest takeaway for me. They learn so much from grappling!

They learn that everyone struggles because they are all being asked to solve a new kind of problem.

They come to see their own progress. I imagine this thought bubble over their heads: “On day one, I couldn’t solve this problem. But on day two, she gave me the same problem and I can solve it now! I can even solve other problems like it!” This visible growth makes the challenge worth the effort.

By grappling with challenging problems, my students have become more resilient. They now embrace challenges and even find them fun, because sometimes they do get it right the first time, and that feels really good!

Want to Read More?

More about rigor:

More on the growth mindset :

  • Decades of Scientific Research that Started a Growth Mindset Revolution https://www.mindsetworks.com/science/
  • “Students who embrace growth mindsets—the belief that they can learn more or become smarter if they work hard and persevere—may learn more, learn it more quickly, and view challenges and failures as opportunities to improve their learning and skills.”  https://www.edglossary.org/growth-mindset/

More about teaching math:

Julia West received her Masters of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Washington University. During her 22 years as a teacher at CID, she worked mostly with students in grades 2 through 5. Julia is currently a teacher of the deaf for grades 3 – 5 in a public school in Florida. She also writes the monthly Listening Strategies article for the Teacher Toolbox magazine at www.SuccessForKidsWithHearingLoss.com

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Not just child’s play: The relationship between play and language https://cid.edu/2018/07/09/not-just-childs-play-the-relationship-between-play-and-language/ https://cid.edu/2018/07/09/not-just-childs-play-the-relationship-between-play-and-language/#respond Mon, 09 Jul 2018 15:17:42 +0000 https://cid.edu/?p=21717 The post Not just child’s play: The relationship between play and language appeared first on Central Institute for the Deaf.

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Not just child’s play: The relationship between play and language

by Emily Humphrey, MSDE, CED

Mr. Fred Rogers said, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood”. Because play promotes cognitive, social-emotional and language growth, it’s important for children to have ample opportunities to participate in play with peers and adults. For children with hearing loss, this is even more important.

Play and language are interconnected, but how exactly? To develop language for meaningful communication, children must have mental imagery, representational and thinking skills (Westby, 1980). Children must be able to represent reality with symbols. Play skills must develop to a certain level before the corresponding language skills are possible (Westby & White, 2014).

Think about it: Children use objects to represent other things; a block as a car for example. Similarly, spoken words represent objects. Children with hearing loss have difficulty hearing and understanding spoken words. This directly impacts the connection between objects and their spoken words. Without a solid foundation of representational skills, a child will not be able to talk about their play, showing delays in both language and play. It is through play that a child can explore and practice representational skills foundational to developing language. Language and play go hand in hand.

According to Carol Westby (2017), “Pretend play and semantic language share the common feature of relational meanings between things. In pretend play, children learn to to classify, compare, and reason, all semantic organizational skills” (p. 10). As children play, they use objects flexibly, interchanging the purpose. That block that represented a car can be picked up and used as a phone. That same block can also be used as a building block. Children’s abilities to substitute objects in play allow flexible thinking. Thinking “out of context” can guide their ability to retell narratives. When retelling a narrative, children are free to use language that extends beyond the here and now.

CID’s Preschool Symbolic Play Rating Form is designed to show a student’s facility between spoken language and play. As an informal tool, it can be used to record baseline skills, to set symbolic play goals, to track progress and to share progress with others. The Preschool Symbolic Play Rating Form is organized by age, from 8 months to 5 years and can be used for children beyond that if play skills are delayed.

Here’s a look from the form at the language skills that typically develop with play skills at the age of 3.

 Play Skills                                                                  Language Skills

re-enacting experienced events and modifying original outcomes using past tense (ex: “I ate the cake.” I walked.”)
engaging in evolving episode sequences that are unplanned using future aspect (ex: “I’m gonna wash dishes.”)
transforming self into a role ability to use language to report and predict
engaging in associative play ability to use language to attempt to narrate or tell a story

The good news is that everyone can play! Parents, siblings, neighbors, teachers and clinicians alike can play. Make time for authentic play opportunities with varied play partners and with varied materials. Make room for exploring and offer subtle ideas to modify the play. One example: when racing cars with children, suggest a car has a flat tire. This encourages children to problem solve and models flexible thinking. Play should be incorporated both at home and in the classroom. Not just in the playroom or at recess; you can and should incorporate play into your daily routines and lessons.

For more information on how to guide, assess and report play and language skills in tandem check out CID’s Preschool Symbolic Play Rating Form.


Citations:

Westby, C. (2017, September/October). Relationships between Pretend Play in Preschool and Later Language Skills. Retrieved June 13, 2018, from http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1048395017726551c

Westby, C. (1980). Assessment of cognitive and language abilities through play. Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools, XI, 154-168.

Westby, C. White, E. (2014). Preschool Symbolic Play Rating Form. Central Institute for the Deaf, St. Louis, MO.

Emily Humphrey served as a classroom teacher in the Anabeth and John Weil Early Childhood Center at CID – Central Institute for the Deaf. She currently works as a parent educator in the CID Joanne Parrish Knight Family Center (coaching caregivers of children ages birth to three with hearing loss). Emily organizes and contributes to CID’s blog for professionals.

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