Preschool for Hearing Impaired Children

Preschool for Hearing Impaired Children

Our work in the schools opened our eyes to the need for much earlier identification and habilitation efforts for Balinese children. We quickly realized that children did not enter the school system until they were 7 – 9 years old – unfortunately too old for successful language rehabilitation in a country with no universal Speech Language Pathologist support. The children we were assisting found good benefit in using their hearing for environmental sounds, but only the very youngest began developing their speech. Lumina began the process of developing a pilot project to start a preschool for hearing impaired children with partial financial support from YKIP/ALF. Expert Balinese Educational Consultants who specialized in teaching hearing-impaired children were hired, and together we worked to develop a program that would meet the legal, educational, cultural and special needs of the children we sought to help. Construction of the school began in early 2007, and it was opened in July to welcome its first little class of deaf-mute children. Each child had a hearing assessment and if they did not already have a hearing aid they were appropriately fitted with a donated pocket aid supplied by YKIP/ALF. Within 6 months (the time between our visits) this quiet little group became a very noisy vocal class! They had found their voices – step one in learning to talk!  Our biggest pleasure over the past few years has been to introduce the children to their own cultural music and dance.  The Balinese music is primarily percussion based, and most of the children can hear the beat.  Dance is their favorite class!


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