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Literacy for Children with Combined Vision and Hearing Loss

Strategy 3: Design Learning Experiences that are Meaningful to the Child

What to do

  • Identify the child's likes and dislikes
  • Use the child's preferences to make learning more meaningful and fun
  • Determine the child's preferred sensory learning channels (see box to right) and learning styles
  • Use age appropriate activities and materials
  • Establish routines around daily activities
  • Decide ahead of time what words and concepts you want to focus on during each routine
  • Use hand under hand techniques, especially when introducing new activities
  • Promote active participation and/or partial participation.

Things to consider

  • Are activities designed around what the child likes rather than something you want the child to do?
  • Is the child positioned in a manner that is both functional and comfortable?Is the Does the position support the child's ability to accomplish a task and make it easier for them to work?
  • Does the environment facilitate the child's use of residual vision and hearing?
  • Are you using the child's most alert times to engage in activities?
  • Are the cues you are using specific to and appropriate for the child?
  • Are all team members using the child's preferred communication and learning method(s)?
  • Are you promoting active participation?
  • Are you balancing the physical load with the cognitive load?


Always Ask Yourself

Determining Sensory Learning Channels

  • How does the child appear to take in information? (Sight? Sound? Smell? Taste? Touch?)
  • How does the child react to sound?
  • How does the child react to vision?
  • How does the child react to touch?
  • Does the child use more than one sense at a time?
  • Does the child engage or disengage in response to particular sensory information? How do you know?