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Home >> NPOs >> Nilam Patel Bahushrut Foundation >> Nilam Patel's Thesis

RESULTS

RESPONSES OF PARENTS TO THE QUESTIONNAIRE
The objective questions had the following result: 

Fig 1.

The hearing impaired children included in the study were between the ages of 3yrs to 16yrs. 84% of the children were profoundly deaf, 13% of children suffered from severe to profound deafness and 3% of children suffered from moderate to severe loss. (Refer to Fig.1). Out of 36 subjects, 26 were males and 10 were females. 6 out of 36 children had under gone cochlear implant. The rest of them were wearing hearing aids.

Fig 2

32 out of 36 children were deaf since birth. The age of detection of hearing loss was within 2 years from birth. (Refer to Fig.2)

Fig 3


77% children were fitted with the hearing aids immediately or with in 6 months
of detection. The maximum gap between detection and fitting of hearing aids
was 2 years. (Refer to Fig 3).

Fig 4

72% of the children used hearing aids for more than 12 hours per day and 22% of the children wore them for 10 to 12 hours. Only 6% of children wore them for less than 8 hours. (Refer to Fig 4)

80% of the children were taught by the parents.  Regular teachers also taught in 35% of cases. Most children also received additional help from special educator or a speech therapist.

Fig 5

According to 37% of parents, their child had difficulty in communicating with others but only 14% of parents felt that their child had problems adjusting socially and emotionally. Among the school subjects, 42% of children had difficulty learning 2nd and 3rd languages (Hindi & Marathi in most cases), Social Studies and Math. 25% of children also had difficulty in oral work including dictation. Some children also had problem understanding abstract concepts. (Ref to Fig 5)

The subjective questions had the following results:

Question 7: How exactly do you help your child to cope in regular school?

The responses of parents indicate that majority of parents visited the school on regular basis, met with the teacher to solve problems faced by either the teacher or the child, took up their home work and worked with their child every single day. Some parents helped their child by keeping in touch with other class mates, revising with previous years’ work sheets, paying more attention to language and speech development and treating the child as normal. A few parents took their children on visits to different places to give exposure to help develop language. They also believed in a lot of personal interaction with the child by both the parents.  

Question 9: In your opinion, what extra facilities should be given to such children in regular schools?

Some very good suggestions came up from parents in response to this question. Some of them were as follows:     
*       
Volunteer system to be formed in the class where other children could guide and help
         the hearing impaired child as and when needed.

*       Easy access for the parents to interact with the regular teacher. This was to facilitate
         keeping track of what was being done in the class and help solve day to day problems
         faced by the child or teacher on regular basis.

*      Concessions to be given for oral examination, dictation and recitation.

*      Special announcements or information to be written on the Black Board instead of only
        giving it orally or announcing on the mike.

*      Basic knowledge about the disability, the problems faced by the child and how to deal
        with them among all the teachers in regular schools.

 *     Sensitization of normal children in the class room towards the disability.

Besides these specific suggestions, most parents felt that the hearing impaired child should be made to sit in front to be able to listen and lip read the teacher better. Also most parents felt that it should be mandatory for regular schools to admit such children and a special teacher should be provided to cater to their special needs. A couple of parents suggested providing FM (Frequency Modulation) system for these children. FM system is an assistive listening device that helps the child to hear the teacher’s voice very clearly without distortion and excludes other ambient sounds.

Question 10: What is it about the school that your child does not like and wish that it would change?

In response to this question, most children who were less than 10 yrs of age were very happy with the school, enjoyed going to it and did not want anything in particular to change. Some older children did not like when other children made a lot of noise. They had difficulty in understanding lessons and communicating with others in noisy environment. They also wanted less number of children in the class so that teacher could pay more attention to them.

Question 12: Your views / suggestions on inclusive educational setup that you may wish to share.

In response to this question, most parents felt that inclusive education provided an opportunity for a hearing impaired child to grow up normally, to develop confidence and better communication skills. In inclusive educational set up, he was more willing to socialize, became more independent, made good friends and did not feel inhibited by the handicap. Some parents expressed the need for early integration where as some parents felt that the child should be totally ready for inclusive setup before being mainstreamed. One parent felt that more awareness on inclusion should be spread through TV so that regular schools accept disabled children more readily. Some parents felt that such children should be encouraged and given opportunity to participate in drawing, art, dance, drama competition by the school teachers. One parent expressed the idea of inclusion very succinctly. She said: It’s a great idea. There is a need for positive attitude to percolate down further to give equal opportunity to all. That there was a need for trained and sensitive teachers.

Responses of class teachers in regular schools to the questionnaire  

The objective questions had the following result:  

75% of the teachers in regular schools had been teaching the hearing impaired child for less than 1 year. The teachers in lower classes were teaching these children for 4 to 6 hours per day where as the teachers in higher classes were teaching for 1 to 3 hours per day. According to 80% of teachers, the hearing impaired children always cooperated with them.

Fig 6

47% of regular teachers rarely had any difficulty in communicating with them. 22 % of the teachers each never or rarely had difficulty in communicating with the child. Compared to that 40% and 45% of the special educators respectively, never or rarely had difficulty in communicating with the child. (Refer to Fig 6).

Fig. 7

Total 70% of regular teachers felt that the child too never or rarely had any difficulty in communicating with them. 25% of regular teachers felt that child occasionally had difficulty in communicating with them. In comparison more than 80% of special educators felt that the child never or rarely had difficulty in communicating with them.  (Refer to Fig 7)

Fig. 8

65% of the children always participated in group activities. Out of a total of 36 only 2 children rarely participated in group activities. (Refer to Fig 8)

According to regular teachers, 50% of the children communicated only verbally where as rest of them used gestures also. None of the children used sign language.


Fig 9

47% of the regular teachers found it difficult to teach subjects like Social Studies, Science, 2nd and 3rd languages (which are other than the medium of instructions). According to 34% of the regular teachers, they had difficulty communication while 10% of the teachers each found it difficult to teach the children recitation, oral including dictation work and other social skills (Refer to Fig 9)

The subjective questions had the following results:

Question 8: What is it that you would like to change to make learning easier for the child?  

There were varied responses to this question. A few regular teachers felt that such children should study in special schools where special educators could cater to their special needs. Some teachers felt that the child should have lip reading skills. Various suggestions like use of play way method, visuals, field trips, games, demonstrations and gestures to facilitate learning were given. One teacher felt that the child should be given opportunity to express him self where as another felt that teacher should give special attention and interact with the child more often. One teacher felt that the child should read the lesson with the teacher and ask questions when did not understand where as one teacher felt that there should be less noise in the classroom. According to one teacher, the child should be familiarized on topics to be covered so that he does not feel lost or insecure in the class. One teacher felt that a qualified trained special teacher should visit the school twice a week to guide the regular teacher in handling formal work. One teacher opined that teacher should give love and warmth to such a child to make him feel comfortable.

Question 10: What are your expectations from the parents to help the child cope in regular school to learn better?

Even this question brought out varied responses. Many teachers wanted the parents to be co-operative. They wanted the child to be regular in school work and wanted parents to help the child with it. That the parent should visit the school regularly, give personal attention to their studies, explain difficulties and by and large help him to comprehend better. One teacher felt that the parent should be trained to teach the child at home. Most teachers wanted parent’s involvement in their child’s education. They wanted the parents to encourage the child to participate in various competitions to build confidence. Some suggested positive reinforcement. Some teachers felt the need for counseling the parents. That there should be acceptance on part of the parents regarding the child’s disability and should interact more frequently with the child. Proper care of hearing aids should be taken to see that they function well.

Question 11: Your views / suggestions on inclusive educational setup that you may wish to share with us.

Most teachers did not respond to this question. Among those who responded, some felt that such children should study in special schools for individual            attention. One teacher felt that they should learn more than one language where as another teacher felt that subjects like History and Economics should be optional. That they should be given vocational training to be able to make a living. One teacher felt that the class room should be smaller and less noisy, that there should be a special teacher to teach language. One teacher felt that there should be a counselor in the school. One teacher felt that there should be loving and homely atmosphere in class room to create confidence and self reliance. One teacher felt that regular teachers should be formally trained in inclusive education for the handicapped. A few teachers felt that it was a good idea for child’s overall growth but there was also a need of a resource teacher in the school. One teacher felt that parents should interact more with the child and encourage independence.  

Responses of Special Educator / Speech Therapist / Resource Teacher to the Questionnaire  

The objective questions had the following result:

Most children in inclusive educational setup were also availing the services of professionals like special educator / speech therapist / resource teacher for the duration ranging from 1year to 10 years. On an average they were seeing the children for 2 to 3 hours per week. Most children co-operated with the professionals. Only 15 % of children and professionals occasionally had difficulty in communicating with each other. According to the professionals, 80% of children communicated only verbally. The rest of them used gestures too. No child used sign language.

Fig 10  

Almost all the professionals worked in areas of developing language, auditory training and speech. Some difficulties were encountered in all the three areas in which they trained the child. The difficulties in auditory training largely depended on the extent of hearing loss and the amplification used by them. (Refer Fig 10) Some special teachers also taught subjects and some also worked to improve the child’s general knowledge.  

The subjective questions had the following results:  

Question 9: What are the factors that you consider before mainstreaming the child in inclusive setup? Specify.  

Most common factors that stood out significantly in responses of the professionals working with hearing impaired were as follows. These were important pre requisites before mainstreaming was considered.

1) Adequate knowledge of –  a) Auditory / Listening skills
                                             b) Communication skills
                                            
c) Language
                                            
d) Lip reading and speech skills
                                           
e) Reading and writing skills at higher level

2) Other important factors – a) Emotional Maturity
                                            
b) Social skills
                                          
c) Readiness in the child
                                          
d) Parental support
                                          
e) Academic Performance   

Question 10: What are your expectations from the parents to help the child cope in regular school and learn better?  

One single most common expectation that emerged from the responses of the professionals working with the hearing impaired children was regular visits by parents to the school to solve day to day problems faced by the child and the school teacher. The other expectations included, keen interest in day to day educational matters of the child, regular follow up of what was taught in the school, reinforcement of concepts learnt in school, building new concepts around them and integrating them in day to day life situations. Parents should provide stable and stimulating learning environment at home. They should prepare the child in advance during holidays to make learning easier. They should function as a link between regular and special teacher and be a part of the team in child’s education.   

Question 12: Your views / suggestions on inclusive educational setup that you may wish to share with us.

Most teachers were of the view that regular schools should be more open and willing to admit disabled children in their schools. There was a need to develop a positive attitude towards inclusion. The regular teachers should be more sympathetic and cooperative towards these children. Many professionals felt that there was a dire need to create awareness among the regular teachers as well as their class mates about the disability and sensitize them towards the problems faced by them in inclusive educational setup. There was a need for more trained and sensitive teachers. Some of them felt that the regular school should also have a support teacher to handle day to day problems faced by the child. One teacher said that inclusive education was not a one time act. It is a continuous process and takes years to prepare the child for true integration.

 

  

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