A positive way to prevent many behavior problems is to keep your baby or toddler informed of what is happening next. Transitions can be particularly hard when babies and toddlers don't know what to expect. For example:
Parents tell hearing children where they are going in the car, or how much time they have left before it is time to stop a favorite activity. Children who are deaf or hard of hearing want to know that, too.
In fact, it is even more important for you to keep your baby informed, because the child might not hear far away cues to changes in activity, such as bath water running, the telephone ringing, the doorbell chiming, or someone calling from another room.
Hold the rubber ducky and towel and say or sign, "Time for bath." The child will begin to associate the object with the routine phrase "Time for bath" to help understand the language.
A baby is less likely to be upset when mom suddenly leaves if she indicates (by showing, pointing, or signing) that her cell phone is ringing and she’ll be right back
Take pictures of important places, such as a church or synagogue or local grocery on your cell phone.
Later, show the child the cell phone photo, and add the language: "We are going to the grocery store. Let's get your coat," and let your child find the picture.
As the child gets a little older, you can use a small, two or three minute hourglass egg or sand timer. Another option is various apps on your phone that have visual ways of showing how much time is left.
Keeping your baby informed also means telling your baby what is going on. Sometimes as hearing people, we don't think about subtle ways that we are leaving a child who is deaf or hard of hearing out.
Sometimes the information your baby needs is that a behavior is not appropriate and has consequences.
What visual strategies could you use to help your child understand what is happening next? Here are some examples to get you thinking.