Category: National Deaf Children's Society
Posted on 17.11.2020
Supporting a deaf child and their family will often involve a face-to-face support session, meetings with a Teacher of the Deaf and getting together with other families in the same situation to share experiences. The COVID-19 lockdown meant all of these services were put on hold, further increasing the sense of isolation that families with a deaf child may already feel.
The National Deaf Children’s Society recognised that lockdown might affect the self-esteem and mental health of deaf children and young people, so their Family Programme team immediately looked at new ways to offer support.
They organised weekly online video-call sessions covering top tips for home learning, mental health, technology and practical advice on benefits. They also hosted informal online coffee mornings so parents and their children could interact with other families and take part in fun activities such as fingerspelling games and quizzes.
Each session was interactive and led by a specialist, with time for questions and answers, so parents could talk through any concerns. One week, Teacher of the Deaf, Emma Fraser, shared her tips on home learning with families and deaf young people. Another week, the topic was technology, taking families with young children through the best learning apps for use at home, and showing how radio aids could also help.
One of the most popular sessions focused on how to build deaf children’s self-esteem and wellbeing during lockdown. Parents had the opportunity to think about what they like or admire about their child and how to share that with them.
During Mental Health Awareness Week, 44 parents attended this event. Their feedback afterwards was overwhelmingly positive; they now felt more confident about how to boost their child’s self-esteem and support their child’s emotional health. One parent commented, “I felt reassured as I think we are doing a lot of what was covered. Not to minimise worries is an important reminder, and approaching problems as something to fix, was useful.” Another said, “I don’t feel like I’m alone now.”
Your support means a great deal to the National Deaf Children’s Society, allowing them to adapt their services so they can continue to meet the needs of deaf children and their families at all times.