Meeting Your Child’s Communication Needs
Deaf children can sometimes learn to communicate through speech alone, while others need a combination of speech and sign language, or purely British Sign Language. At The Lighthouse we offer ‘Total Communication’, an approach which allows for all three of these communication methods. This flexibility allows us to offer an entirely child-centred approach to language and communication, ensuring deaf children’s individual needs are met.
We encourage deaf children to develop their residual hearing and speech skills as much as possible, through weekly speech and language therapy sessions, learning visual phonics, and using Sign Supported English (signing with speech). We provide radio aid systems for children who are confident hearing aid/cochlear implant users, and offer daily technical checks.
We mainly use Sign Supported English to help deaf children learn how to lip-read, speak, and read. When they are ready to learn to read, the children learn Signed English to help support their understanding of English grammar. Sometimes, more profoundly deaf children need to use British Sign Language. Where appropriate, we can provide BSL to a high standard, with Deaf adults on our teaching staff acting as excellent role-models.
To support communication at home, we offer a range of information and resources to parents. These could be in the form of picture symbols to help your child understand what is happening through the day, or to use to make requests. We can send home sets of BSL signs to help with new topic vocabulary, signing dictionaries and topic books. ‘Family Signing’ sessions are offered by our teaching team in consultation with you (please see further information and resources in this website’s ‘parents’ zone’ section).