Read to me (Part II)

30 April 2019

By: Shefali Shah

Children with hearing loss who have been read to from infancy quickly develop a love of reading. Part II of this blog guides you to nurture this interest, as your growing child transitions from picture books to simple stories.

A good starting point is books with a simple, repetitive story line. As you read, be mindful of the need to hold your child’s attention, pacing yourself to complete the story in a single sitting, so as to train your deaf child’s attention and auditory memory as also to give your child a sense of completion.

Children love to re-read stories that they enjoy. Your deaf child enjoys this too. Details can be filled in on subsequent readings; it is important to get a move on with the story line in that initial reading.

Auditory-Verbal Therapy has always kept literacy central to its practice. “Creating readers starts with talking and reading to babies.”(Read On Get On, UK, 2016) Modern research consistently demonstrates that reading is the best predictor of academic success: put simply this means that children who have been read to from infancy, are more likely to sustain their interest in reading and therefore are most likely to sustain above average progress in college.

As your deaf child’s understanding of spoken language grows, allow your story telling style to feed his or her comprehension, curiosity and higher thinking. Here are some simple tips:


This allows your child to reflect on what you just read, as also to comment or ask a question.

2.Comment and then wait.

Most stories have a ‘dramatic point’ usually preceding the climax. Staying neutral or commenting with a neutral remark such as “What do you think?” or even perhaps a simple “Hmm…” allows your child to take in the details of the page and perhaps comment himself.

3.Set the stage for the climax.

Build the excitement with a comment such as “You ready?” or “let’s see what happens next!”

4.Invite your child’s participation if s/he is beginning to become more verbal.

E.g. What do you think will happen next? Or even just an exclamation “Oh no!” followed by a pause.

5. Talk about feelings of the characters in the story.

E.g. How do you think ___ felt?

Ask your child how s/he feels

E.g. How do you feel about that?

As your child’s understanding of spoken language grows, choose to read aloud stories that are longer and have more complicated plots.

Open up the world of spoken language to your hearing impaired child: read, read read!