Archive for category: Discussions

A list of all the Deaf Parents Deaf Children workshop discussions.

At the most recent Deaf Parents Deaf Children workshop in Derby, all the parents discussed and debated issues relating to being a parent of a deaf child.  All the parents present were invited to put forward a list of topics or questions that they wanted to discuss with the rest of the group. We have listed all the discussions from the workshop to allow the conversation to continue online. If you have further advice, questions, resources or information we would love it if you could share this with us in the comments section beneath the discussions. Thanks!


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DPDC Discussion: Speech therapy – does your child have it at home or at school?

Question: What arrangements do you have for your child’s speech therapy if that is an option for you?  Does you child have speech therapy at home or at school?

Some children have their speech therapy at their deaf school or mainstream school. One parent reports that his/her child’s school has a ‘no hearing aid/CI = no speech therapy’ policy which needs to be challenged!

One parent organises speech therapy to take place after school hours at home via the council, as he/she does not want his/her child to miss any lessons, as it would be a disadvantage to the child.

Speech therapy is important even for BSL-using children, as it teaches the child important lip-reading skills.

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If you have further advice, questions, resources or information we would love it if you could share this with us in the comments section beneath the post. Thanks!
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DPDC Discussions: Should my deaf child use a Level 6 interpreter or a CSW?

Question: My child (4) has a Level 6 Interpreter at school. Everyone seems to have different views on whether a child should have an interpreter or CSW.  Some say that a child of 4 will struggle with the concept of an interpreter and a softer/caring approach of a CSW would be better. What are your views and experiences?

The general consensus was that it was important to find the right person for your child. Most importantly this person needs to have Level 6 BSL, or be currently working to achieve the qualification.

The person you choose needs to have the right attitude and is good with your child and the other children in the class. The interpreter would need to be happy to sit on the floor and adapt to the classroom environment.

In most cases it is down to luck and finding an interpreter who can commit to working school hours.

One parent says that he/she was advised that a deaf child aged 3-6 is not properly equipped to work with an interpreter, as the concept of the interpreter translating everything the teacher says is difficult to grasp.  The advice that the parent got was that a child aged 3-6 should be given a CSW, and then when the time is right the child should transition to using an interpreter.

One parent said that his/her reception child (aged 4) has learnt to use an interpreter and has developed a great working relationship. At first, when the teacher asked a question to the class, the child would respond with the correct answer, the interpreter would remind the child that he/she needs to raise his/her hand first to give the answer. The child would do this, but would give an incorrect answer the second time as he/she thought the first answer was incorrect as the interpreter didn’t validate/praise it.  This child quickly grasped the mechanics of the process and now raises his/her hand and waits for the teacher to ask for the answer via the interpreter.

The parent who has a child in reception (aged 4) uses the same interpreter 5 days a week and the interpreter does not need breaks as the intensity/learning level is at a slower pace with lots of play time and short breaks factored in anyway. The same interpreter advises that another interpreter needs to be employed as a co-worker when the child gets older as the learning/teaching intensity is greater.

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If you have further advice, questions, resources or information we would love it if you could share this with us in the comments section beneath the post. Thanks!
Information about DPDC Discussions


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DPDC Discussions: Making friends and attachment to the BSL interpreter.

Question: How can I help my mainstreamed child make friends and ensure he/she does not get too glued to his/her interpreter at the school.

One parent who has a child at a resource base school says that the interpreter tries to stand back and allow the child to mix with others during play time.  The interpreter/CSW needs to make decisions on how much space to give the child to allow them to develop social skills and make friends at school.


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DPDC Discussions: SEN Statements and dealing with your Local Education Authority (LEA)

Question: A family explained that they were planning  to move south, they wanted to get the statement for their 3 ½ year old child agreed first before moving but it was turned down so they need to appeal.

The family explained that they want to send their child to a deaf school in borough ‘A’, but the house prices in borough ‘A’ are too expensive. Living in borough ‘A’ would ensure a straightforward process with the statement because the deaf school is in the same borough.


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DPDC Discussions: Secondary school options for your deaf child

Question: I have started thinking about Secondary Schools for my child, does anyone have any advice regarding statements, schools which would help me?

One parent said that they are considering Mary Hare, but are concerned that their LEA will turn them down, as they have done so in the past. One parent said that Mary Hare often pay the fees for one year for children whose LEA’s have refused to fund their place. In that year the school collects evidence to demonstrate to the LEA that the deaf child is better off at Mary Hare and needs to stay at the school.


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DPDC Discussions: My childs deaf school does not teach music as a subject, do you think it is important to teach music?

Question: My childs deaf school does not teach music as a subject, do your children’s schools teach it and do you think it is important to teach music?

Several parents said that their children love learning and making music at school. Everyone agreed that the school should be asked if they can include some music workshops or lessons. One parent recommended that the school asks Music and the Deaf, which is run by Paul Whittaker to come and run some workshops for the children.

Music and the Deaf website: http://matd.org.uk/

One parent recommended Ruth Montgomery who is a deaf music teacher who travels to different schools to teach music.

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If you have further advice, questions, resources or information we would love it if you could share this with us in the comments section beneath the post. Thanks!
Information about DPDC Discussions


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DPDC Discussions: Should my child learn Langue des Signes Française (LSF) as well as French at school?

Question: My four year old has started French lessons at school. She is taught French via BSL. Should we ask our child’s interpreter to learn some LSF (Langue des Signes Française) and to teach some French Sign Language as well?

Everyone had different views about this. Some parents thought it would be great to learn some LSF, but all agree it would be a big ask for the interpreter or TA to learn LSF from scratch!


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