Having a child, born with a disability is not a choice parents make. It is something that happens and parents who at first are overwhelmed or confused, need to realise that they have to accept the situation and make decisions others never even have to think about. Ignoring is not the right solution. The first important step is to admit there is something different about their son or daughter and reach out for help.
In this blog we talk about children with a hearing problem. After parents discovered that the communication with their child is abnormal, we recommend them to do a hearing test. This is even possible for very small children, a so-called ASSR-test. When the outcome of the test is bad-hearing, part of the problem can be solved by using hearing aid. If the child is complete deaf, than sign-language and written language is the only solution for the entire family. Parents, brothers and sisters must realise that using sign language at home is the only way to communicate in the future with their deaf child.
The past learned us that also for kids, using hearing aid, sign language is of great help. It supports them in their daily life during the communication with others. Kolewa Foundation started already years ago with a program for children with a hearing problem in Bali. Now-a-days there are weekly free classes on Saturday and Sunday in Denpasar, on Sunday in Redang (Karamasem) and monthly on the 20th of the month in Buleleng. During these classes we provide speech-therapy (for a clear pronunciation) and teach sign language. We use a special for Kolewa Foundation published booklet to exercise.
Learning and playing at the same time makes it interesting for the children and fun for the parents too. Lessons are given by all Kolewa Foundation team-members who weekly get training from professionals at our field partner Yayasan Corti. This partner is very experienced and even has a school for special education in Denpasar with the focus on sign-language in bahasa Indonesia.
Important for the home-situation and communication are signs for colours, animals, parts of the body, types of food and fruit and daily activities. But of course we don’t stop there . We teach children and parents counting, singing and playing games together in order to live a normal life within their community.
As Kolewa Foundation team we are thrilled to see that the parents who join our program are so much interested, dedicated and eager to learn. It isn’t always easy to remember, all those signs. However they use all their energy in learning, determined to achieve happiness for their children and them selves . Together we focus on the best future for children with a hearing problem, we teach, we support and we try to convince parents to sent their children to special education where sign language is used during classes.
Holldyn Nitti (teacher) Syta Plantinga (founder)
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