See this wonderful clip of 8 month old Jonthan having the cochlear implant in his right ear turned on. When you look at it the 2nd time watch how he mimics his mother’s mouth movements.
Reminds me of the fascinating work carried out by Colwyn Trevarthen on the communication betwen very small children and their carers.
He studied the rhythms and expressions of children’s play and fantasy, and how musical games and songs, stories and acts of discovery, with real or imaginary companions, support the development of skills during infancy and the pre-school years.
His influence on music therapy – especially in areas of conflict – is very significant in enabling youngsters undergoing the intense trauma of living in a war zone, as can be seen in the work of Nigel Osbourne.
Trevarthen also pioneered the incredibly powerful Video Interactive Guidance programme which helps professionals ‘give individuals a chance to reflect on their interactions, drawing attention to elements that are successful and supporting clients to make changes where desired’.
I did part one of this training a few years ago and found it invaluable.
But back to Jonathan – I know some members of the hearing impaired community dislike the emphasis on the spoken as opposed to the signed, word but no one could deny the joy that baby experiences as he communicates with his mum. I recently trod on one of my incredibly expensive hearing aids and am awaiting a replacement. It feels as if I’m underwater when trying to discern conversations. The temptation is to turn off from ordinary human contact. I pick up important news but miss all the general chat in staff rooms. No wonder I’m anti-social! I’m with those who ensure that children are given such implants as soon as is possible.
And here’s an opportunity to say farewell to a good friend and great colleague, Eleanor Carnell. She is an amazing fount of wisdom and knowledge about lots of stuff – but especially about teaching children with hearing impairments. She retires at the end of session after many years of sterling service to the Lothians and we in the Outreach Team will miss her sorely.
(PS If some clever person could change this URL to the real Youtube video I ‘d be pleased. Why does it work on my blog but not here?)