View Full Version : Caring for a profoundly deaf 3 year old

02-05-2011, 09:02 PM
I am meeting a mum with the potential of looking after her daughter who is 3 years old on a part time basis.

The girl is profoundly deaf and has very little verbal communication as a result. Before childminding I was a teacher in secondary schools and I taught a few deaf children but by secondary most were fairly confident with lip reading / sign language or had hearing aids.

I just wondered if any of you had experience working with deaf younger children? Or if you could point me in the direction of some helpful resources / activity ideas?



02-05-2011, 10:27 PM
you could make cards with pictures on to show her and then she can tell you what she wants

hope it helps

02-05-2011, 10:51 PM
I used to be the keyworker for a profoundly deaf child from when he was 2 till he was 5. He was gorgeous, and talented, and very frustrated!

If the child is already proficient in sign language that should help you - assuming you know some, but the pictorial advice is good. I had a pictorial day on the wall so I could show him what we were going to do in and which order. I also used pictorial cue cards if he couldn't make me understand what he wanted (We learned BSL together). He would show me the picture and then we would learn the sign for it. His frustration was evident though in the anger he showed when he felt he wasn't being understood. He could clear a room in seconds - he would swipe everything out of his way and then just sit in a heap and cry - poor child.

However, as we both learned it got easier and less frustrating for us both until eventually we could comminucate really well. If he wanted other children, or adults, to understand him more he would come and get me to translate but he really was able to play alongside the others quite well.

Children are more adaptable and they often communicate better than adults in situations like this so you might find he is more comfortable with the other children to start with. Young children are more likely to pick up on his cues too and tell you what he wants.

There are some good resources available - signed stories on dvd, teaching dvd's and I think you can get cbeebies or similar recorded and signed. We also had bells and clocks that lit up so he could see when things were happening.

The main points to remember though are: its not rude to point when you are deaf or talking o a deaf person, use exaggerated facial expressions and make sure you touch him lightly on the shoulder when you want him to look at you.

Touchy feely activites always went down well, as did anything that has a visual outcome.

Sorry, that brought back lots of memories and I have waffled - hope some of it helps.

Good luck x

christine e
03-05-2011, 06:03 AM
I would get in touch with your local Speech and Language Therapist (we access ours through the Childrens Centre), he/she should be there to support you with advice, training and any resources you need.


03-05-2011, 06:55 AM
It's also worth having a look on line - there's lots of resources/information available, like this


Miffy xx

03-05-2011, 10:33 AM
Thank you for all the information, I'm meeting with her mum this afternoon (a bit earlier than expected) so will see how it goes.

03-05-2011, 01:14 PM
My daughter had severe glue ear from the age of 2-4, and so was almost completley deaf.

We found using makaton helped (guidance online & courses you can do). Even at her very young age she was perfectly able to lip read.

Try using picture card fobs to carry round & provide one for her so that she can communicate back.

I would contact the speech & language therapist for tips & ideas.

I would also look into learning sign language. Its a great skill to have.

Her parents will be the biggest help to you though. Find out how they communicate, get as much info from them you can. Her likes, dislikes etc. You dont want her becoming frustrated in your setting. If you get to know her all should be ok.

Good Luck