Books are a priceless gift for not only for children with hearing loss, but for all children.
As Maya Angelou once said:
At The Shepherd Centre, our therapists use books as valuable tools to help the children progress on their journey of learning to listen and speak. Specifically, books are used to teach ‘Theory of Mind’ which is the ability to attribute mental states (e.g. beliefs, desires and intentions) to others, or in other words, understand that other people have beliefs, desires and intentions that are different from one’s own. This is a vital component of therapy, particularly in relation to social inclusion.
Some great examples are books like Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg. It teaches children that it’s ok to make a mistake, that mistakes often open up adventures into creativity and portals to discovery.
Another wonderful book for children is Press Here by Herve Tullet. The reader is invited to press a yellow dot and then turn the page to discover the previously unknown power they wield over paper and ink: they have single-fingeredly changed the picture. One dot has turned into two! Press it again and the dots keep responding, multiplying, flying across the pages, delighting any reader.
Another brilliant book which encourages imagination and laughter from children is The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak. It is designed to be read aloud, with words such as ‘BLORK’ and ‘BLUURF’, or a preposterous song about eating ants for breakfast, or just a list of astonishingly goofy sounds like ‘BLAGGITY BLAGGITY’ and ‘GLIBBITY GLOBBITY’!
You can watch a reading of the book here:
These are just a few examples of how books not only tell entertaining stories but also benefit children’s growth and learning by teaching them to imitate and create new sounds which encourages their speech development.