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Why is your child’s social-emotional wellbeing important?
Social-emotional wellbeing in children can impact their confidence, development of positive relationships, communication skills, school achievement and their willingness to take on and persist with challenging tasks. Supporting and encouraging social participation and inclusion plays an important role in fostering children’s social-emotional wellbeing.
All children need to feel accepted to have a real sense of belonging.
Children who are deaf or hard of hearing may benefit from additional supports to help them to participate meaningfully with their families, friends, community, and in early childhood settings. Supporting your own social-emotional wellbeing is also important.
What support options are available to promote social-emotional wellbeing?
Research shows having the right supports can benefit your child’s social and emotional wellbeing. Best practice guidelines describe supports that may help to promote social-emotional wellbeing of children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
One or more of the following options may suit your child’s needs.
Family to family or parent to parent supports
This is support from other parents or families who have experience with a child who is deaf or hard of hearing.
This may also include adult role models who are deaf or hard of hearing.
This can help:
- Develop your child’s social participation skills in a safe environment
- Develop confidence
- Practice communication skills and making social connections in various settings
- Introduce your child to the Deaf and/or hard of hearing community from a young age which may have longer term benefits.
Broader support networks
This could be support from community groups, friends, extended family, religious affiliations and play groups.
This can help:
- Develop your child’s confidence in various social settings
- Enable your child to practice communication skills and making social connections in various settings
- Teach other children how to communicate with your child.
Support for your child’s social-emotional wellbeing
Sometimes you may need to seek additional support for your child’s social-emotional wellbeing for example, a psychologist, social worker, occupational therapist, or a specialist early intervention provider.
Some providers may have experience working with children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
They can help:
- Support emotional attachment between you and your child, and inclusion in the family
- Facilitate contacts with other supports your child may need
- Develop a positive self-image in the child who is deaf or hard of hearing
- Develop strategies to manage their emotions.
Who can you talk to about social and emotional wellbeing supports?
You can talk to an early childhood partner, providers, early childhood professionals, organisations who support people who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families, peer supports or other friends and family about your child’s social and emotional wellbeing. Read more about Questions to ask providers
This guide is designed to help you understand the supports that may be available to children who are deaf or hard of hearing. It does not imply that a specific support will automatically be included in your child’s NDIS plan.
Some supports may be provided outside of the NDIS. All of the supports included in your child’s NDIS plan must meet the NDIS funding criteria. You should read this guide alongside Our Guideline – Early childhood approach and Mainstream and community supports.