|Supporting a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Child
Gloucestershire Deaf Association is here to help
With 90% of deaf children born into hearing families, it is hardly surprising that as parents you sometimes feel bewildered by how best to support your son or daughter through the inevitable communication challenges that lie ahead. Should your deaf child be encouraged or discouraged from using British Sign Language (BSL)? What should you do if your child starts to fall behind at school? How can you help your child avoid becoming withdrawn? What listening aid or visual alerter equipment might help?
The service Gloucestershire Deaf Association provides for families with a deaf child is primarily through the social activities of our youth and kids clubs. However you will find that simply by meeting others in similar circumstances and sharing experiences will give you invaluable support. At GDA we are also very fortunate in having volunteer leaders who have been helping deaf children for a long time and are always on hand to help. All our clubs offer a 'total communication' environment so everyone can move seamlessly between British Sign Language and English as they so choose. The aim is to build communication confidence and self esteem in as relaxing an environment as possible.
Gloucestershire Deaf Kids Zone (GDKZ) and Cirencester Deaf Children's Club (CDCC)
These two clubs - one in Gloucester and the other in Cirencester - are for tots to children up to the age of 8 years, accompanied by a parent or carer. Well behaved hearing siblings are also welcome to attend. Each club meets for one Saturday morning per month, usually for a mix of themed craft activities and/or play. There are also one or two special outings in the year, and a Christmas party.
Gloucestershire Deaf Youth Zone (GDYZ)
At around the age of 9 years, girls and boys step up to our youth club, which they attend independently from their parent or carer. The fortnightly Friday evening sessions offer a range of activities, but above all an opportunity to have fun and mix with other hearing impaired young people, using a mix of English and BSL, whichever is preferred. GDYZ also offers school holiday outings and once a year a three-day residential - always to somewhere new - which always prove particularly popular.
To find out more about our youth and children's clubs, please contact the GDA office initially and one of our youth leaders will be in touch.