Thorne Park 300 words 4 young minds
Some are destroyed by the storm life throws us, yet some harness the
wind, rain and lightning to create an advantage. If we can create good
things out of dire circumstances then really there is no problem in life,
just situations which lead us closer to happiness.
The Health and Wellbeing team agreed to work with a group of fifteen year 10 deaf
pupils at Thorn park deaf school one and a half hours each morning for 6 weeks.
Initial focus group and action research in the school found, as noted in
literature that deaf adolescents are delayed in social development relative to
their hearing peers (Calderon & Greenberg,2003). This hold-up is caused by
parental restrictions on activities outside the homes due to worries about
the child’s inability to communicate their whereabouts and safety. It is
further caused by the student’s lack of awareness around some of the
subtleties of the hearing world’s communication. The deaf mental health
group identified concerns about their student’s safety on social networking
sites and their lack of knowledge of the hearing world.
“There is a very low level of literacy and reading skills and the subtlety of speech
that hearing people use, such as metaphor, is not useful for deaf people. The
average deaf school leaver has lower life chances and for this reason we wanted to
put all our efforts into building other skills such as confidence and awareness.”
Julie Forshaw (2009)
We created a program of interventions to raise emotional awareness for the
deaf students. This was a six week program culminating in a conference
presentation, in which the group were consulted as experts on social media.
Research on the social and emotional development of deaf children constantly
suggests that the core of deaf children’s development challenges is communication
whether face to face or through telephone or IT or writing. Consequently we
included in the sessions lots of work around listening skills! We worked on body
language, affirmation, mirroring skills, drama skills, role play, freeze frame
modelling, miming games, and team games.
"When work becomes play, and play becomes your work, your life
Not all words for just anyone submit equally easy. … Forcing [language] to
submit to one’s own intentions and accents, is a difficult and
Mikhail Bakhtin, 1935
Senior Mental Health Advisor
Health and Well being Team
Transforming Learning services
Fourth Floor, Future House
T 01274 385947