socialization between hearing and hearing impaired children at school
Antia, S. (1985). Social integration of hearing impaired
children: Fact or fiction?Volta Review, Oct/Nov., 279-289.
Antia, S. and Kreimeyer, K. (1996). Social interaction
and acceptance of deaf or hard-of-hearing children and their
peers.:A comparison of social skills
and familiarity-based interventions, Volta Review, 98, 157-180.
Antia, S., Kreimeyer, K. and Eldredge, N. (1993). Promoting
social interaction between young children with hearing
impairments and their peers. Exceptional
Children, 60, 262-275.
Higgens, P. and Nash, J. (1996). Understanding Deafness
Socially: Continuities in Research and Theory. Charles C.
Thomas, Springfield, Ill.
Honig, A. and Thompson, A. (1999). Parent information:
Helping toddlers with peer group entry. Retrieved June 17,
1999 from the World Wide Web: http:www.zerotothree.prg/peer.html
Lederberg, A., Ryan, H., and Robbins, B. (1986). Peer
interaction in young deaf children: The effect of partner
hearing status and familiarity. Developmental
Psychology, 22, 691-700.
Toddlers need help with four aspects of peer play. These include group
entry skills so that they can successfully join others at an activity.
They need ways to continue to play once a game is begun or a request to
join has been accepted. They also need to know how to recognize a friendly
peer request and to respond appropriately (Honig and Thompson, 1999).
Promoting one-to-one relationships through structuring of the classroom
activities may improve interactions in mainstreamed settings (Lederberg,
A., Ryan, H., and Robbins, B, 1986). Continued small group contact can
encourage social skill improvement between peers of different hearing status,
especially if children become familiar with each other by frequently working
and playing together (Antia, S., Kreimeyer, K., and Eldredge, N., 1993).
Withdrawl/reduction in teacher/child interaction during free play may lead
to increased interaction among peers (Antia, et al, 1993). Peer interactions
between children with a hearing loss and children with normal hearing occur
more during non-intrusive periods without teacher interaction. If the hearing
impaired child lacks the communication and social skills to interact, the
teacher may structure the activities by organizing the play theme, assigning
roles, and preparing and managing the materials before withdrawing to an
Structuring the activity by making social toys available for free play—balls,
dress-up clothes, toy housekeeping materials, and toy vehicles may increase
socialization. Isolate toys such as puzzles or books could be used at another
time of day. The teacher can instruct children to complete a project together
or start an interactive game with interactive toys (Antia, 1985).
Social skills may need to be taught through social interaction routines.
Shared product routines, cooperative games, and role plays can be used
as opportunities to model social skills. After teacher modeling, children
can interact with prompts from the teacher to direct them to interact in
a desired manner. Antia and Kreimeyer developed a teacher-mediated social
skills intervention program for young children with a hearing impairment.
It required teachers to promote opportunities for interaction between peers
(cooperative crafts, games and role plays) and to model and prompt specific
skills (greeting, sharing, assisting, and conversing) (1993). Other researchers
used a system of teaching peers to establish eye contact or a joint focus
of attention for improved socialization (Antia, 1985). They taught peers
to describe their play and the play of others, to redirect play, and to
attend to the hearing impaired child’s speech by repeating what was said.
This method tended to generalize to nontrained peers. It was thought that
this method motivated hearing children to play with their hearing impaired
Some research detailed programs where children without a hearing loss were
coached in strategies to initiate interaction with children with a hearing
loss. Peer mediated interventions that reinforce normally hearing children
for interacting with the hearing impaired children also found some success
with young children. This intervention tended to improve social skills
between hearing impaired children, however did not greatly improve interaction
between hearing and hearing impaired children (Antia, S. and Kreimeyer,
Free play should be an essential part of every preschool program. It is
during this time that "the equality of performance between normally hearing
and hearing impaired children can best be demonstrated." (Higgenbotham,
Baker, and Neill, 1980).
Providing hearing children with knowledge about hearing loss and practicing
use of appropriate communication when interacting with hearing impaired
children actually decreased interaction between preschoolers, making interactions
shorter and of less frequent duration (Antia et al, 1993).
Songs may be used to elicit "affectionate" responses between hearing and
hearing impaired children. Examples like "If you’re happy and you know
it, hug your friend." May bring about affectionate responses among the
children (Higgens and Nash, 1996).
Helping toddlers with peer entry skills, sustaining play, recognition of
a friendly peer bid and responding appropriately may help ward off inappropriate
or inept patterns of social initiatives that could continue for some children
into school age. Modeling may be one way that a teacher can create a climate
for this learning. Comments like "You are giving Mary the flower pot. Thank
you, Tom" may teach an appropriate response to the positive social bid
(Honig and Thompson, 1999).
Teachers can play an important role in the social skill development
of all children, but especially with the interaction between hearing children
and hearing impaired children. Their organization of the classroom, choice
of toys and activities, as well as promotion of positive interaction will
aid the development of the important skills necessary for social development.
If students are placed in small groups or one-to-one situations with students
that are motivated to communicate and work with them, children, all children
will experience such a growth in understanding. Social skill development
is vital to the emotional well being of all children. Children will benefit
from this early intervention in the area of social skills for the duration
of their educational career, as early attitudes carry over to later years.
: articles on the social development of children
Kemple, K. (1991). Understanding and facilitating preschool children’s
Retrieved July 20, 1999 from the World Wide Web:
Schloss, P. and Smith, M. (1990). Teaching Social Skills to Hearing Impaired
Washington, D.C. Alexander Graham Bell Association
for the Deaf Press.
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