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.

At one school with a resource base there are four interpreters, and they take in turns to work throughout the day so there is always an interpreter on duty just in case the child needs conversations translated.

One parent said that it helps to arrange play dates after school or at weekends so the child is given time and space to make friends with other children, as during play time they often have to compete and share friends with thirty others!

Important to be part of the school community and build relationships with other parents.

One parent said that it is easier for children to make friends from the ages 4-10 as at that age children do not discriminate and are genuinely interested in sign language so it is often easier for a deaf child to mix and make friends.

One parent who has children at a deaf school decided that they needed to learn to socialise with hearing children, so they attend a dance club after school. They are learning valuable skills and enjoying the dance club. The parent saw that their children learnt to communicate with their peers and a mixture of gesture and sign language is used with success.

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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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