Parent Coffee Night- “Help your Deaf/ Hard of Hearing Child Get a Good Night’s Sleep!”

Please join us for a special coffee night on Thursday Sept 28th, 2017
Special Topic: “Help your Deaf/ Hard of Hearing Child Get a Good Night’s Sleep!”
(Attend in person or Call-in Via Teleconference or online video conference if you live outside the Metro Vancouver area)

parent coffee

Join us at a special parent coffee night about sleep! Sometimes the techniques we use with hearing children need some adjusting for our deaf/hard of hearing kids! If there are sleeping challenges in your home – you are certainly not alone! Share in the conversation with other parents and learn some tips so everyone is well rested! Come and join us for an informal coffee night where you can ask questions or share experiences with other parents.

 

Please join us in person for Lower Mainland parents. If you’re interested in the phone-in or webcam/ online option, please RSVP by May 25th so that we can provide you with the calling information.

WHEN: 7:30 – 9:00pm

WHERE: BC Family Hearing Resource Society, 15220 92 Ave, Surrey

CONTACT: ckalchbrenner (at) cw.bc.ca to RSVP or with any questions.

2017 Sept Sleep Coffee night

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Hands & Voices Guide By Your Side Program: Opening for Parent Guide

BC Early Hearing Program would like to announce an Opening for a Parent Guide in the Hands & Voices Guide By Your Side Program

Please see the following PDF for more information and how to apply.

2017 GBYS Parent Guide posting

Deadline for applications is Friday September 29th, 2017

                                          

Opening for Parent Guide
The Guide By Your Side program provides parent support linking parents of children newly identified deaf/hard of hearing or deafblind through newborn hearing screening with trained and experienced “Parent Guides” and “Deaf/Hard of Hearing Guides”.

What is the role of the Parent Guide?
Guide By Your Side Parent Guides offer parents the opportunity to establish a supportive relationship with another parent, sharing stories about their own experiences raising a child who is deaf, hard of hearing or deafblind, as well as some of the practical advice a parent learns over the years (e.g. how did we keep those hearing aids on our baby’s ears and out of his mouth??!!).
Parent Guides are trained to support families without bias towards modes or methods of communication. We believe in the Hands & Voices slogan, “What Works for your Child is what makes the Choice right.”

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BCHV 2017 Fall Parent Workshop

BC Hands and Voices and Guide By Your Side are proud to present our 2017 Fall Parent Workshop!

Registration is now open here.

Please see PDF flyer and images for all information.

2017 fall workshop

 

 

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Kindergarten Transition – Considering All Aspects of Access for Your Child

By Alison Nutt

The transition from early intervention services and the preschool years into kindergarten and school age services is a time of many changes. Not just for you as parents but also for your kiddos!  As the school year starts, it may feel both exciting and overwhelming to adjust to these changes and make sure that all of your child’s needs are met.   

A big focus for this transition to kindergarten for deaf and hard of hearing children is on access. Access will look different for each child, particularly when talking about language and learning needs; however focusing on other areas of “access” for your child is equally important, not just in the first few years but onwards into middle and high school, and any environment that your child eventually finds themselves in. This might include visual access (not limited to ASL), social access, emotional access, and access within their school and home communities – and others!

As a professional who has worked both in early invention and in mental health, I have had the privilege and opportunity to support families in many different aspects of this time of transition and in the early elementary years. Often times the nature of my work includes supporting children in ways to increase or enhance their “access” to other areas of their school and home lives that are not tied to the traditional thoughts about education and access. Here are a few of the things I have learned and observed from working with families that may be helpful as your child transitions into kindergarten or in future elementary years:

Advocating for the use of visual supports within the classroom:

  • This can be helpful for the entire class however has the added bonus of helping the deaf or hard of hearing child more easily follow routines, rules or expectations visually even if they have misheard or missed the instructions all together.
  • For those kiddos who may have some struggles with planning or organizing their time, visuals can help them to know what steps they need to take to complete a task or can serve as a reminder of an expectation. For example, a small picture at the top corner of their desk with the picture of their FM equipment can help them with developing independence with using their equipment or reminding them of the expectation to put it away at the end of the day.
  • Some children may benefit from the use of an ASL interpreter to help with their visual learning and attention to learning material.

Small group work for classroom learning as well as social and emotional learning opportunities:

  • For children who receive “pull out” services from an itinerant teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing, or a speech therapist, or any other professional, consider requesting that some of your child’s peers join these sessions. This can help with fostering social connections as well as empathy.
  • Small groups for learning activities also provide the opportunity for more focused learning with settings that are easier to manage for listening to peers or the teacher.

Ensure there is a focus on emotion vocabulary and your child’s development of understanding emotional and behavioural responses (self-regulation and emotional regulation):

    • Social and emotional learning has become more included in the school curriculum which is great! Ask the teacher what is being taught at school and review it at home with your child – this can be particularly helpful for providing more information to specific topics (incidental learning), the opportunity for your child to ask more questions, applying it to their own experiences, and reinforcing any ASL vocabulary that might be learned.
    • Bring this learning home by discussing a wide variety of emotions and how we manage them, explaining how you solve problems, and modeling how to calm down when we feel frustrated or overwhelmed.
    • There are many books (often found in the library!) and activities that can be done at home that focus on emotional vocabulary and self-regulation skills.


Seek out social relationships with deaf and hard of hearing children and connections to programs and services within the deaf and hard of hearing community:

    • Your child may be the only deaf/hard of hearing child at their school and some children have a harder time with this experience – a connection outside of school to other deaf/hard of hearing kids and adults can help your child develop a stronger sense of identity and self esteem because they are able to connect with others who may have similar experiences as them.
    • A strong sense of identity, confidence and positive self esteem can be connected to strong self advocacy skills – beneficial skills to have as your child moves through the school years and beyond!

At times, the school environment for deaf and hard of hearing children may be overwhelming and feel very busy. At a young age, your child may not have the vocabulary or understanding to be able to explain this to you or to their teacher. When this happens, sometimes what you may see is “challenging behaviour” or showing disinterest in activities or possibly a change in their willingness to wear hearing aids or cochlear implants. Connecting with your child about their thoughts/emotions, social connections and school activities can help you to gain a better understanding of what they are experiencing throughout the day and look at making shifts or changes to better support all the areas of “access”.

If you are interested in discussing this topic or these ideas further, please feel free to connect with me at the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deaf-Blind Well Being Program – Alison.nutt@vch.ca.  If our program is not the best fit for services or another program can better answer your questions, we can help to make that connection.

 

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Summer Get-Together 2017

Join us for a play day!

Whether it’s your first time coming to an event or you never miss a chance to socialize and catch up.

Tuesday, August 22nd 2017 11:00am – 2:00 pm Grimston Park 19th Street at 7th Avenue New Westminster (close to 22nd Street Skytrain Station)

Look for the orange & blue balloons!
ASL Interpreter Available

This park has a beautiful playground and wading pool. Bring a picnic lunch, swimwear, towels and blanket.

RSVP is not required, but please watch our Facebook page for notice of cancellation if it’s raining. Visit our Facebook Page & Website: https://www.facebook.com/handsandvoicesBC Contact: info@bchandsandvoices.com

Summer Get Together Flyer

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How Do We Join the Deaf Community?

Author: Kim Shauer

This was a question asked at our recent Parent Coffee night and a question many other parents of deaf/hard of hearing (D/HH) children may also be wondering.  

BC Hands & Voices and Guide By Your Side (part of the BC Early Hearing Program) recently hosted a coffee night for parents featuring the topic of Deaf Culture & ASL. Parents had the opportunity to meet Christy Jeffery and Dan Braun, both Deaf role models who led the evening and shared some of their experiences growing up Deaf and using American Sign Language (ASL) as their primary language.

So – how do we join the Deaf Community? According to Dan and Christy – just show up! Come to an event and introduce yourself and your D/HH child. Christy and Dan reminded parents not to be discouraged even though there may be some curious looks by people wondering “who’s this new face?” Just say “Hello!” advised our guest presenters.

What seemed really special about the evening was that it was attended by parents of children with all hearing levels (bilateral and unilateral) and users of all types of hearing technology.  Many were curious about using ASL (some parents knew a lot already but for some parents ASL was brand new). All were reassured they would be welcomed into being involved in the Deaf community.  

Parents asked a lot of great questions throughout the evening such as “does our signing have to be perfect?” – a daunting question to ask these amazing signers! Their answer was not to worry so much about getting the signs right or wrong. When kids are young, many families (both with hearing and deaf children) have their own home signs and gestures (siblings as well). Parents don’t need to be perfect; communication back and forth is more important than a perfectly executed sign. Plus, don’t worry about what other people think! Give it a try and your child will end up leading the way eventually with what works for them.  

After the event, one family shared how meeting role models connected them to the Deaf Community:

“In our experience, the D/HH role models are warm and welcoming ambassadors of Deaf culture. They replace the fear of the unknown with the safety of community.” – Kurt Kuzminski

“I saw a total shift in my father after he had the opportunity to meet a Deaf role model. It was an important turning point for him and his understanding and acceptance of our daughter’s deafness.” – Sage Kuzminski

Thank you Christy and Dan for sharing such a positive message as always. We could have continued on for another hour or more I’m sure!  

Don’t miss the next opportunity to meet other families as well as D/HH Guides and role models at the summer get-together happening on Tuesday August 22 nd . Details can be found here: http://www.bchandsandvoices.com/post/summer-get-together-2017/

If you are a parent of a D/HH child under five, are unable to come to an event, and would like to meet a D/HH Guide role model virtually over an app on your smart phone or computer to ask some of your own questions, email gbys@cw.bc.ca.

Note from the Editor:
Parent Coffee nights happen approximately six times per year and cover a variety of topics. The last few have also been offered via a teleconference line and video conferencing for parents to call in and listen/participate, even if they live too far away or cannot attend in person. If you would like to be notified of upcoming events, please go to www.bchandsandvoices.com and click at the top right corner “Sign up for our Newsletter”.

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The Big Move- Traditional Chinese

By Anja Rosenke

The Big Move- Traditional Chinese

Link to English version

This translation was made possible with a generous donation of the Gwyn Morgan & Patricia Trottier Foundation.

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The Big Move- Simplified Chinese

By Anja Rosenke

The Big Move- Simplified Chinese

Link to English version

This translation was made possible with a generous donation of the Gwyn Morgan & Patricia Trottier Foundation.

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The Big Move- Punjabi

By Anja Rosenke

The Big Move- Punjabi Translation

Link to English version

This translation was made possible with a generous donation of the Gwyn Morgan & Patricia Trottier Foundation.

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Parent Coffee Night- Microtia/ Atresia Topic

Please join us for a special coffee night on Monday May 29th, 2017
Special Topic: Microtia/ Atresia
(Attend in person or Call-in Via Teleconference or online video conference if you live outside the Metro Vancouver area)

parent coffee

We are pleased to have two of our BC Hands & Voices members, Jesse Kazemir and Catherine Kalchbrenner. Jesse is an SFU student with bilateral microtia/ atresia and Catherine is the parent of a 6 year old with right-sided microtia/ atresia. This is a safe space to ask your questions and learn more to support your child.

 

Please join us in person for Lower Mainland parents. If you’re interested in the phone-in or webcam/ online option, please RSVP by May 25th so that we can provide you with the calling information.

WHEN: 7:30 – 9:00pm

WHERE: Children’s Hearing & Speech Centre, 3575 Kaslo St. Vancouver

CONTACT: ckalchbrenner (at) cw.bc.ca to RSVP or with any questions.

2017MicrotiaAtresiaCoffeeNight4.30

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