Raising Awareness in Mainstream Schools

Guided by the questions that we are often asked, the blank looks, and the concerns from families and teachers, we decided to do things differently in September. Deaf Awareness Month.

Together we decided to open up our knowledge, experience and skill to the mainstream education sector, and hosted a first of its kind workshop for educators, parents and professionals.

“Mapping the Listening and Speaking Brain for Learning” – three professionals across the spectrum of auditory development, speech and language development and the integration of sensory processing within the context of the developing child. The child sitting in a mainstream classroom, or any classroom for that matter.

We recognised, through our own experience, that often the workshops and presentations that we attend focus on the special needs sector, forgetting that many children with special needs are being included in various school environments. Schools where teaching staff are often over whelmed and ill-equipped, not due to lack of trying, but lack of information, to assist not only the child, but also the family.

Our workshop hosted by Fish Hoek Primary School, reached 64 participants ranging from parents, to educators to representatives from various organisations and institutions. Our presenters explained the auditory pathways and how the development of the auditory systems impacts on the development of language and speech. Attention was also given to the child’s sensory integration within the classroom and how best to accommodate and support the child within the classroom.

Some of the participants had the following to say:

“Just to say a VERY big thank you for your workshop last week.  I found each of the speakers to be highly engaging, relevant and informative. If you hold an identical workshop, I will certainly be encouraging a host of my colleagues to attend! I look forward to future workshops too.” Jacqui – The Learning Lab.

“Thank you so much for the email we were really so impressed by the workshop” – Seamount Primary Teachers.

“Thank you so much for this talk: the speakers were brilliant. Well done. My husband took half day today to attend the talk and he was very impressed: thank you.” – Shiree Goldstein – Parent

We thank our presenters for the wealth of information shared and their commitment to supporting this bi-annual workshop.

Herewith some practical tips to help guide you (click Mapping the Listening and Speaking Brain for Learning for the pdf). Remember to test the child’s hearing if any concerns are picked up in the classroom (or at home), and it is never too early for intervention services.