Comprehending by listening.
Speech and language specialists and special needs teachers underwent a two-day workshop last week to familiarise themselves with the aural rehabilitation programme designed for the Arabic-speaking population.
The select 61 specialists and special needs teachers work closely with students who have recently received the personal frequency modulation (FM) systems for individuals with a hearing impairment.
The programme, designed by the American Speech and Hearing Association (Asha) -- certified speech language pathologists -- will help children learn to use their residual hearing to its maximum potential, with the aim of developing their language skills by learning to listen: "There are 20 to 30 similar aural rehabilitation programmes in English but this is the first of its kind with Arabic content, which suits the Arabic and Emirati culture since it helps familiarise the student with his/her surroundings through coloured flash cards that help explain everyday life experiences suitable for different age groups," said Hana Ali Elsa Al Hamdani, Subject Support specialist and team leader for the Abu Dhabi Education Council's (ADEC) Special Needs committee.
The aim of the programme is to increase and encourage further Speech and Language Specialists and Special Needs Teachers to gain practical and applied skills in aural rehabilitation activities and skills for students with hearing impairment.
"Attendees benefit a great deal from this workshop since it focuses on four major areas, namely on various types of hearing aids available, phonetics, oral rehabilitation and a healing/therapy plan for students.
"This programme also encourages teachers, parents and students to work together in order to improve the individual's communication skills," said Al Hamdani.
In addition to the 40 personal FM systems for students with hearing impairment, the Council also purchased three different devices to help assist students with autism and speech and language disorders, namely the Quick Talker 23, Prox Talker Middle East Kit and the Talking Photo Album.
"With supporting tools, cooperation from the community and team work, we can all help students with special needs to take part in our society in whatever way they'd like to. "These students have talent, all they need is a little bit of assistance to help show them the way," Al Hamdani concluded.
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