2018-05-23 by Mark Harrington
Personal development during the early years of childhood can be challenging for youngsters. Boys and girls are meeting new people all the time, learning new games, and taking in lots of new information in pre-schools. Hearing loss can make such social development a little more challenging.
Fortunately, early childcare assistants can apply slightly adapted techniques to cater to such needs and help all children feel welcomed in the classroom. Hearing loss is a broad term, which is why open communication and understanding with parents is so important. Once that has been achieved, there are a range of teaching tips and activities which can be integrated into a childcare assistant’s daily routine.
Different Types of Hearing Loss Which may Be Encountered
Hearing loss doesn’t necessarily mean a complete loss of this sense. There are three types of impairment which can hinder a person’s ability to hear properly. Conductive hearing loss refers to blockages which prevent sound from efficiently reaching the inner ear. This could be caused by infections or fluid/wax build-up in the ear canal or ear drum, as well as damage to bones in the middle ear. Medical products can be effective for such conditions, but hearing aids may also be necessary in certain circumstances.
Sensorineural hearing loss refers to damage of hearing nerves or the inner ear. Hearing aids are a much more common solution this time around, because these problems are often permanent. It’s also possible for people to suffer from mixed hearing loss, which is a combination of conductive and sensorineural. Medical professionals conduct the necessary tests to detect possible hearing loss, and anybody in an early childcare assistant career should be kept informed about such diagnoses.
How Childcare Assistants and Children with Hearing Loss Communicate Effectively
The most common piece of advice offered when working with children with hearing loss is to keep on talking. This helps kids with hearing loss develop their language skills and feel included in the classroom. Top childcare assistants don’t become demoralized when a message isn’t getting through. When first trying to catch the child’s attention, gently tap them on the shoulder. Then stand or kneel close to the child when having a conversation.
Eye contact is especially important when speaking to a child with hearing loss
Eye contact is also essential to allow the child to read your lips during a conversation. Resist the temptation to excessively raise your voice when speaking, because this isn’t guaranteed to help them hear what you’re saying. It may also make them feel self-conscious, and embarrass them among classmates.
Creating Inclusive Group Activities After Childcare Training
A child’s hearing loss is a good opportunity to educate their peers about the condition. This helps to prevent misinformation spreading around the classroom, where the affected child could become isolated. Activities that promote the development of verbal communication and listening skills should be encouraged, because this allows children with hearing loss to experience language in a natural setting. This should be balanced with non-verbal activities, such as art or puzzles, which can also develop other important skills and help build self-confidence.
Hearing Aids Require Special Attention to Prevent Damage
Those in childcare training should also develop some degree of familiarity with hearing aids. It’s useful for professionals to know how to put the devices on effectively, how to switch it on, and when to switch batteries. It’s also important to remember that these are electrical items, so try to prevent the possibility of water damage. If the child is hearing a whistling from the hearing aid, it’s also a good indicator that they have outgrown it. Open communication with parents will also help to ensure that special considerations are known and followed.
Make sure to avoid water damage with hearing aids
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2018-02-28 by Mark Harrington
Can you think of a day when you didn’t listen to or hear music in some form or other? Music permeates our lives on an almost daily basis. We may hear it over the radio, in movies, or we might just make our own music by humming while running some errands.
As it turns out, music is extremely beneficial for early childhood development. And kids love it, too! Babies enjoy boisterous babbling, toddlers tinker with triumphant dance moves, and preschoolers love practicing their penchant for singing.
Musical development in children begins as early as the sixteenth week of pregnancy, and musical stimulation helps children develop in a number of critical spheres. In fact, neuroimaging has shown that music turns on large sectors of a child’s brain. To find out just how using music as an early childcare assistant can be beneficial, keep reading!
From Sounds to Words, Music Helps Develop the Building Blocks for Communication
Music is none other than an amalgamation of patterns, and humans are pattern-sensitive creatures. It’s how we communicate! To create speech, we need to think about what sounds to put together to make individual words and what words to use to say what we want in a way that makes sense. The whole process also involves intonation, rhythm, and even pitch which can demonstrate the additional dimension of emotion. Communicating through the patterns of language may seem like second nature once we’ve got the hang of it, but it’s actually quite a complex process that requires some crucial brain development—and music can help out.
As the ultimate neural stimulator, music helps babies learn and distinguish the sounds needed to make words. Already before they can understand the words of a song, infants can recognize and try to mimic melodies. Have you ever thought a baby’s babbling was nonsensical? They’re actually just learning to speak and building the necessary neural pathways in their rapidly growing brains!
Music provides the building blocks for learning speech
Eventually, as children start producing their first words, music continues to help them develop their vocabularies so that they can become skilled communicators. Who knows, maybe the music you use after childcare assistant training might just be a crucial stepping stone in the development of a champion orator!
Music Develops Spatial Skills Which Influence Movement and in Turn Mathematical Ability
Speech is incredibly important. It’s how we understand each other, after all. But being able to make sense of the space around us and move through it is also a critical sphere that music helps develop. Engaging in musical activities often involves things like clapping, dancing, or even simply swaying to a lullaby. All of these activities have one thing in common: motion. Engaging in even the simplest of movements in relation to music helps that crucial spatial awareness develop.
Dancing to music can help contribute to mathematical abilities
Curiously enough, letting loose some killer dance moves not only helps children improve their coordination, it also influences mathematical abilities. Boogying to a tune involves taking into account things like tempo and rhythm, and this along with figuring out how to move through space all comes together to create the building blocks needed for better understanding math.
Professionals With Childcare Assistant Training Can Use Music to Teach Emotional Awareness
When you become an early childcare assistant you’ll work hard to make sure your charges are happy, and music is an excellent tool to use! All of the aspects of music that help teach language, motor skills, and spatial reasoning—pitch, rhythm, lyrics, and tempo—also communicate and carry emotions, often bringing children delight and excitement. And this doesn’t just happen by chance. Music actually induces endorphin production which uplifts mood.
Not only does listening to, moving to, and creating music bring happiness, it can also help children develop an understanding of how to sense and express emotion. The experience of being soothed by a lullaby, for example, helps develop the ability to regulate emotions. As an overall result of the emotional development promoted by music, children develop stronger social skills. All in all, it seems like music is an excellent tool for early childhood educators to use!
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