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Acoustics will not be as much of an issue at home as they are in a classroom, but it is still important to consider the managing the acoustics in your home to create an optimal educational environment.

Noise interferes with memory and concentration; the impact is magnified for a child with hearing loss.

Hard floors magnify sound. Although it is a tempting (and common) choice, the kitchen may not be the most suitable "school" room in your home.

Is there heavy traffic on your street? Consider working in a room set further back in the house.

Set up a quiet space or a quiet time of the day for your deaf/hoh child to read, study and concentrate. The noisy activity of daily home life (washing dishes, watching t.v., shouting kids, etc.) can be very distracting (and interfere with concentration and understanding).

Make sure you aren't sitting down to do school work with the dishwasher, vacuum or air conditioner running in the background.

Consider using an FM system at home. For those who may not know, an FM system is a personal assistive listening device that amplifies sound. They come in a variety of forms...with speakers, headphones, ear molds, neck loops, and boots that fit on hearing aids. They are commonly used in school. IMO, the best kind are those that transmit into the hearing aid in some way, such as the Phonak Microlink.

FM systems use a microphone which you can use to amplify speech as you talk to your child, or hook up to the computer, telephone or tv to amplify that. Not all FM systems are capable of amplifying electronic devices, so check that out before purchasing. Good ones are expensive, $2,000-$3,000, but they are an invaluable tool. Check the related resources at the bottom of the page for more information.

Related Resources

Acoustics and Socialization
An article on the impact of acoustics on social interactions.

Assistive Technology: FM Systems - Listen-Up Web
A thorough explanation of how FM systems work and links to additional information.

Classroom Acoustics
Discussion of classroom acoustics and the impact of noise on learning and language reception.

Design of Child Care Centers and Effects of Noise on Children
Information on the impact of noise on children: physiological responses, memory, motivation and cognitive development.

Guidelines for the Classroom Teacher Serving the Hearing-Impaired Child
An article with several practicle tips for teaching children with hearing loss.

Noise and Its Effects on Children
Yet more information on the impact of background noise.

American Sign Language
Reasons to learn ASL and helpful resources: books, software, videos, web sites.

Articulation Practice: /s/
Articulation practice plan for /s/.

Home-based Speech Therapy
Suggestions, tips and resources for working on speech, language and articulation.

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