Kids Academy Malaysia
Little Angel Kindergarten
Wonder Minds Preschool, Bangsar
HappyLand Psychology & Therapy Centre, Johor Bahru

If Your Child Has a Sensory Disability, Here Are Accommodations He Might Need.

by on 08/01/2021 307

Sensory disabilities commonly refer to conditions that affect one’s ability to see and hear. This means that low vision, blindness, deafness and other hearing impairments all fall under this category of special needs.

Let’s explore the types of sensory disabilities, their effects on learning and what kind of accommodations you or a teacher can make for your child.

Low Vision

Kids with low vision (or partial sight) have difficulty seeing without help. The ability to see details, such as normal-sized print on a book, can vary from child to child. Some may be able to see things up close, while others can’t. There are also individuals who cannot see things in their peripherals, but are able to see directly ahead.

Learning visually can be tiring and challenging for those with impaired sight.

Here are some accommodations to help with learning:

  • Provide large print on books, worksheets, etc.

  • Place the child at the front of a classroom, close to the teacher

  • Make sure the lighting in the room is sufficient

  • Students can be given extra time for exams

  • During tests, the child can say out their answer while someone else helps to write it down

  • The child may record classes instead of writing notes

  • Assignments given through electronic medium

  • Tech that converts text to speech, such as a reading pen

Blindness

Blindness can occur over time, while others may be born with it.

Students with no sight since birth may find it hard to comprehend verbal descriptions of visual materials (e.g., describing colour or look). Those who have had vision before may have no issue.

Other than accommodations such as a scribe during exams and text-to-speech technology, students who cannot see may benefit from:

  • Reading materials in Braille

  • Audiotaped assignments

  • Tactile models

  • Graphic materials that have raised lines

If Your Child Has a Sensory Disability, Here Are Accommodations He Might Need.

Hard of Hearing

Hearing difficulties can affect kids in different ways. Some children may need to lip read occasionally while others require hearing aids.

Students who have hearing impairments may find it strenuous to follow along during a lesson if the teacher speaks too quickly or softly. Their ability to hear could also be affected by the acoustics of the room they are in.

Kids who use hearing aids might benefit from other methods of amplifications, such as personal neck loops (which are like headphones that can be plugged into a computer or phone).

Another option is to use a frequency-modulated (FM) system in class, which allows the child to hear the teacher’s voice even if she is at the back of the classroom. This system makes the teacher’s voice louder than other sounds, while also giving your child the ability to listen to her own voice.

Deafness

If a child is born deaf, he might not develop speech. Learning sign language will be useful, but it is also important to find a community that your child can practice and communicate with. In Malaysia, the deaf community mainly uses Bahasa Isyarat Malaysia (BIM).

To assist with learning, students could be provided with:

  • Interpreters

  • Someone to help take notes

  • Closed captions on videos

If you’re looking for a preschool that uses BIM as the primary language of instruction, check out the early years programme offered by Malaysia Federation of the Deaf (MFD).