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Personal Saftey for Middle School Years – Ages11-14 ~ reprinted from Deafed.net




As young people enter adolescence, our job as parents, teachers, and other caring adults is to help them to support their increasing independence while protecting their safety. Our leadership is still essential in ensuring that young people are protected from harm through our guidance and intervention when needed — and empowered by having opportunities to learn, practice, and use personal safety skills.

Even with a strong foundation in childhood, experiences in the pre-teen and teen years can have a profound impact on a young person’s trust that she or he has the right to be and feel safe.

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The Complexity of Ordering a Sandwich ~ Paul Jacobs, PhD

Whether deaf or hearing, successful people prepare, plan and persist to realize their goals. Goal Orientation can be short term or long term. Short-term Goal Orientation occurs within minutes, hours or days; long-term over weeks, months or years.

Goal Orientation can be Short or Long Term

Ordering food at Subway exemplifies short-term Goal Orientation. Whether deaf or hearing, the novice can be overwhelmed. Acoustics are terrible. Ordering off the menu is different than elsewhere. A queue of other customers may pressure you from behind. Embarrassment can trigger panic.

Everything is left to chance when you are without a plan, relying only on visual cues and not-so-perfect hearing.

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Cognition in the Classroom: The Academic and Social Implications~ Leeanne Seaver

Social isolation is one of the biggest fears families have for their children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Given the low incidence of deafness or hearing loss, many d/hh kids find themselves alone or among a small minority of students in a public school setting. What is the impact of a hearing loss on the child in that situation? What should parents and professionals alike be attending to when developing the child’s IEP to make sure that social learning and social inclusion are addressed? Dr. Brenda Schick, an associate professor at the University of Colorado, in the department of Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences, has studied this topic extensively and is preparing to publish a paper on “Cognition in the Classroom.” She provided Hands & Voices with this interview on her research and insight on essential academic and social considerations for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

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“Silence is NOT an Option: A Parent Driven Plan to Keep Our Children Safe at Home and at School”


No child should experience maltreatment, i.e., neglect, abuse, or bullying, including cyber bullying. Unfortunately, children with disabilities, and especially those with communication challenges, experience maltreatment at a rate that is three to four times greater than that experienced by their nondisabled peers.

1 Bullying alone is experienced by as many as one in seven children, with a reported 63% or higher rate among students who have any “label.”2 The maltreatment experience significantly impedes children’s ability to interact, learn, communicate, or achieve at a level consistent with their potential.3 While parents and professionals share a moral and legal responsibility to prevent, recognize and report child maltreatment4, few are aware of the risk factors, reporting protocols, or most importantly, the prevention strategies that can protect children.

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Calling Our Bluff: Using Communication Strategies in Social Situations – Karen Putz

“The ability to bluff in poker is a coveted skill for those who play the game.”

Social bluffing is pretending to hear or understand something that is being said, and behaving in a way that shows you understand, even when you have little or no clue as to what is being said.

Growing up hard of hearing, I bluffed my way through conversations. My ability to discriminate via auditory means alone was poor, so I supplemented my understanding of communication  by speechreading. As anyone knows, speechreading is a hit or miss process, with 40 to 60 percent visible on the lips and the rest of it guesswork.

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Acoustics and Socialization – Monte Stern

The number of students who are deaf or hard of hearing using amplification or cochlear implants in mainstream school settings has increased dramatically. What should schools be doing to create an acoustically-adapted environment that will support each students maximum learning potential? -editor’s note

In 1990, Mark Ross PhD, edited Hearing Impaired Children in the Mainstream, an expanded version of a conference on “Mainstreaming Revisited”. The conference was attended by educators from all across the country who are concerned with the education of children with hearing loss. In his preface, he refers to the accounts given by former students and issues this call to the education profession: “Their challenge to us, in the interests of future generations of children, is that the advantages of the mainstream process be realized for them without the penalties of social isolation and personal unhappiness.” 1

As a parent, I know all too well the nature of the challenge.

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