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Helping a Deaf Child Behave Better

The following are questions a childcare center might have about helping a Deaf child behave better:



Sometimes we need to discipline and teach children good behavior. How can we discipline and teach deaf children without confusing them or hurting them?

  • Hard-of-hearing children process visually. You can SHOW her good manners and the right behavior by example. When she's watching, tap another person's shoulder gently to ask for a toy. That way, she will know that she should tap someone's shoulder and ask, not grab the toy out of someone's hands.
  • She should NOT be treated as "special" and allowed to break the rules that are in place for all children.
  • When she does not respond, she is not ignoring or being difficult. Hard-of-hearing children often appear to "hear" because they respond to what they see during an activity.
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boy crying

What happens if a deaf child cries and becomes upset?

  • Ask her parents how she is comforted. Let her know you're there to help and comfort.
  • Do not speak too loudly or talk too much. These comforting words will not get through to her if she is upset and crying. She won't be able to read your lips or face.
  • Do not ask too many questions while she is upset. Look over the child's body. Make sure there are no cuts or injuries. Ask or sign to her, "What's wrong?" She can try to explain why she is upset.
  • It may be helpful to carry her into another calm place.
  • Remember, she is a child like everyone else. Treat her with the same care as her peers.
  • If she is ready to draw, She may be able to draw what happened. She can lead you to where the problem happened.
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Next: Making a Daycare Center more Deaf Friendly

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Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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