Support for deaf children aged 0 to 5 years: Guide

Hitchins, A. Lewis, S. Holmans, A. Grover, A. Wakefield, T. Cormier, K. Rowley, K. Macsweeney, M. | View as single page | Feedback/Impact

What is communication?

Here are two definitions of communication.

Communication - [noun] the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, signing, writing, or using some other medium.

Communication is the most fundamental of human capacities. People need to be able to communicate to fulfil their social, educational, emotional and vocational potential. Everybody has the potential to communicate.” - The International Communication Project (ICP)

There has been lively debate throughout history about the best approach of communication with the deaf.  Each family is individual and should be able to have their choice of communication supported by the professionals.

Teachers of the Deaf can help families make an informed choice about communication options (see the Communication section of the Early Support professional handbook).

These links give an overview of the different types of communication methods used with deaf children in the UK: Communication approaches, modes and methods currently in use in the education of deaf children and young people in the UK - BATOD

Communicating with your deaf child - NDCS

The foundation of communication is built long before children say their first words.  

Learn some practical strategies to develop communication. These communication videos support and advise about communication with deaf babies and toddlers with a range of hearing loss, from mild to profound.

Topics include

  • Tuning into your deaf baby’s communication.
  • Talking about and responding to their communication.
  • Helping them to notice you are talking or signing to them.
  • Helping them to notice what you are saying or signing.