Improving Self Management and Communication Skills of Teenagers with Hearing-Loss
CHF has helped thousands of children with hearing loss and their families in the last 20 years; many of the children CHF had served are now in their teenage years. In order to continuously improve their auditory-verbal communication capabilities and social interaction skills, CHF held a series of one-day events on 2018/7/7 and 7/14. 11 teenagers participated including teenagers with hearing loss served by CHF and their peers or siblings; some of whom are without hearing loss. The goal of this activity is to help youth acquire the knowledge of audiological management, improve social interaction skills and confidence, as well as learn to understand and help each other.
CHF audiologist, Sasha Lin, was the lecturer of the first event. She guided the teenagers to establish good habits for audiological management by helping participants understand the causes and types of hearing loss and the hearing organs. The lecturer also taught teenagers how to assess their hearing status and the importance of maintaining their hearing devices. Although most of the participants have basic knowledge about their hearing aids, they hadn’t learned comprehensively about maintenance. The lecturer also encouraged these teenagers to try to manage their own auditory status.
After the lecture, Joyce Huang, CHF auditory-verbal specialist led participants to get familiar with each other and interact through a puzzle-solving group activity. This activity also helped the lecturer to have a grasp of each participant’s communication skills, personality traits, and social interaction skills. After one of the smaller tasks was accomplished, participants went outside to a park and continued to cooperate and discuss together to finish the ultimate task.
All the teeanagers with hearing loss get together to solve series of tasks.
After the group activity ended, these teenagers shared what they encountered during the process. Some people found that it is more difficult to understand each other in a noisy environment and that everyone had different interpretation for the answers to the same puzzles. The purpose of this activity was to guide participants to consider appropriate communication strategies and applied what they had learned in their daily life. Peers and siblings also learned how to adjust themselves to provide appropriate assistance and overcome difficulties during communication and interaction.
For the second event, CHF invited the audiologist from King Pax Technology, Kuan-Chi Lin, to talk about the trend of hearing aids technology as well as tactile and visual assistive devices. Mr. Lin asked the teenagers to share which environments are more difficult for them to listen and how they deal with these situations. The audiologist also provided practical communication skills to help participants lead a smooth discussion in daily life.
In the afternoon, the second event started with Mystic Mountains Adventures, a board game designed by CHF for children with hearing loss. Through this unique board game, it was obvious that participants could actively apply communication skills they had acquired from the previous lectures while playing the game. For example, these teenagers could concentrate on listening to each other and clarifying what they had heard. When it required a group decision, most of the participants could voice their own opinions and came to a conclusion together. The board game enabled teenagers with hearing loss to express themselves while having fun.
Teenagers with hearing loss played board game, while applying communication skills they just learned.
After playing the board game, CHF social workers discussed with participants the difference between internet games and real life games. Most of the teenagers said real life games are more interesting because these games require cooperation, conformity, patience, and listening to each other. Finally, participants were asked to recall the two events and discover their own and other participants’ strength and traits. Through this process, teenagers showed confident and happy smiles. By getting feedbacks from each other, participants understood themselves better and could think about how to take advantage of their strength and characteristics in life. These teenagers were encouraged to define themselves through reflection and awareness. They were also taught to utilize personal quality and sincere praise instead of being affected by malicious opinions
After these two events, the teenagers not only gained knowledge of audiological management and hearing devices but also learned how to communicate smoothly, respect others, and express their own needs and thoughts. This can help them participate in social activities while decreasing the possibilities of conflicts or misunderstanding. In addition, they learned how to make good use of their own traits and strength in daily life to face challenges and difficulties and help others. CHF hopes that these teenagers with hearing loss can welcome their bright future with confidence and courage!
The teacher used characteristic cards to let teenagers understand each other more.