Parents are a fantastic resource

We put families at the heart of all we do, working as a team with parents to improve their children’s life chances. This gives us a fantastic resource, as this example from our Club for hearing impaired toddlers in St Petersburg, Russia shows.

“Smiley Igor joined our Club about a year ago. He had already had the operation to fit Cochlear Implants. Igor has a large, friendly family. They already have experience of raising a child with a hearing impairment, so they reacted fairly calmly and rationally to his diagnosis. They also know a great deal of useful information, which they are happy to share with the other parents. This is so valuable because parents who are encountering hearing loss for the first time in their child often feel very isolated and helpless. Igor’s family is a model for how you can successfully order daily life in these circumstances.

Igor is a lovely, polite little boy. He helps us lay the table for tea and biscuits and especially loves the music sessions. He always turns towards the source of the music and likes playing the percussion instruments.

Igor has cochlear implants. He wears these for all the active sessions, but might take them out during the free play if he is getting tired. Interestingly, when he is playing with his beloved cars, his plays quite differently when he has his implants in. Without them, he doesn’t make any noises. With them, he starts to make the “brum, brum” and “nee-nah” sounds to go with his play.

Since he started kindergarten, we’ve noticed that he takes his implants out more often. No doubt it’s tiring for him to spend more time in a busy, noisy environment. He has also moved to the next level of socialisation and finds it much easier to indicate what he wants. He’s also become more attached to his favourite toys, and finds the competition more difficult to deal with.

Igor has found it easy to remember the structure of our sessions, and he too is a good model for the other children. Thanks to him, the other children get into the routine more quickly and learn new skills.”

Sophia Pepelzhi, Music teacher