Whether you’re going on vacation, or just visiting a relative, family trips are often the highlight of the year! If your child has a cochlear implant, preparing for the trip can also be a great opportunity to practice their speaking and listening skills. Here are 5 easy cochlear implant rehabilitation activities to get you started.
1. The Places
Talk to your child about the places you will visit, as well as the places you will pass by to get there, such as the bus or train station, port or airport.
- Teach your child describing words such as crowded, noisy, busy and spacious, and vocabulary specific to those places such as ticket, queue, platform, gate, security check, and passport.
- Depending on the age of your child, or how long they’ve had their cochlear implant, show photos of these places to prepare them for the visit.
2. The People
Talk to your child about the people you will meet at your destination, and along the way.
- Teach your child their names, talk about what they look like, their uniforms and what they do.
- Role play with your child how to greet them or answer their greetings, go through security checks and purchase tickets. This will help your child to learn vocabulary and the social language needed for the journey. It will also help them to understand how to behave in these situations.
3. The Vehicles
Talk to your child about the vehicles you will take to get to your destination
- Discuss with your child what they would like to do while travelling. For example, you could ask them what toys they would like to bring and what games they would like to play.
- Highlight location words for your child such
- “Let’s get on the bus.”
- “Our suitcases go underneath.”
- “Before we get on the train, we have to buy our ticket.”
- “After we leave the plane, we need to pick up our suitcases.”
- Sing songs such as “The Wheels on The Bus” or other songs and rhymes linking to your journey. Singing songs helps children with cochlear implants to learn and remember new vocabulary and sentence structures in a fun and easy way.
4. The Schedule
Talk to your child about the activities you will do once you get to your destination.
- You could create a schedule or use a calendar to talk to your child about what you will do each day. Add pictures or drawings to illustrate the events for younger children.
- This is the perfect time to teach your child action words such as visit, meet and see.
- Refer back to the schedule throughout the trip to remind your child of your plans, and talk about what you have done. Include tricky time concepts such as tomorrow, today, and yesterday.
5. The Packing
Last but not least, talk to your child about the things you will need to bring for the trip.
- Write a list with your child of items to pack, then pack together and encourage your child to cross things off the list. Writing a list with your child is a great way to encourage early literacy skills in a meaningful situation.
- Teach your child category names such as clothing, toiletries and medicine.
- Add descriptions to your packing to support your child’s listening skills. Ask your child to find the objects you describe, for example, “Please get something that I put on my head to protect me from the sunlight.”
Want more tips for helping your child with their rehabilitation? Check out this article about using expansion and extension to teach your child new words.
Find out more about how cochlear implants work and how they could help you or your child.
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