Reading

Parents read to their deaf and hard of hearing children for the same reasons that parents read with hearing children. Reading together is fun! It is a chance for closeness, communication and sharing ideas. It helps children learn language and make discoveries about the world.

There are differences, however. A deaf child cannot look at the book and attend to parents' storytelling at the same time. A hard of hearing child benefits from visual support to go along with listening.

Reasons for Reading

Reading Encourages Babies to Enjoy Books

The time you spend together with books can be very special.

  • If you hold your baby and turn the pages, the bright objects and shapes will get the baby's attention.
  • Infants like to look close up at edges, stripes and blocks of color from the day they are born.
  • Gradually, the books will be less like other toys and more like books.

Reading with Child with Hearing Aid  

Sharing Books Together Engages Your Baby in Communication

Books have pictures that are fun to point to, feel and look at. Every action is a chance to communicate with your baby.

  • Little ones often have lots of books, each one different, that they can open and close
  • When babies are very small, books that can go into the bathtub or into the mouth can follow them everywhere
  • As babies gain control over their fingers, books with pages to turn are fascinating
  • When babies are old enough not to swallow the pieces, books with buttons and zippers or soft fur on some of the animal characters are a lot of fun
  • Even before you are reading stories, you are letting your baby know that books have messages

Reading Helps Your Baby Learn Early About Stories

Stories are part of what is called literate language. Nursery rhymes, finger plays, even peek-a-boo games are very short stories.

  • Babies enjoy watching what you do, say, or sign about stories long before they understand the meaning
  • Later, children will expect and enjoy stories about things that happened in the past or might happen in the future
  • That kind of language will be important later on, when your child reaches school, reads captions, or wants to tell a story on his own

Reading Helps Your Child Figure Out That Print Is All Around Us

Someday, your baby will find print everywhere; in dictionaries, magazines, letters, books, e-readers, smart phones, laptops, televisions, street signs, billboards, grocery stores, etc. By reading with you, your baby can learn to expect different information from different kinds of print.

  • When you read your shopping list in the grocery store, you can read it together
  • When Grandma sends a birthday card, you can both enjoy it