Our parents have always been at the heart of our club for hearing impaired toddlers and their families. We recognise that they know their children best and influence their development far more than we can alone. For most of our parents this is a new experience. They are not used to being taken seriously by specialists.
During our summer break we took four of our parents to a conference organised by Hands and Voices, a US parents' group for parents with hearing impaired children. With generous funding from the US side we were able to travel to Savannah, Georgia, and meet other parents in similar situations. Natasha and Masha, Alla and Zoya talked to the American parents about how to support parents at different stages in their lives, how to teach hearing impaired children and other topics that interested them all. They plan to keep in touch with their new friends as there is so much more they want to discuss.
In October this year some of the American parents will return the visit and take part in a conference taking place in St Petersburg which is centred on communication. Our group will be presenting a paper on communicating with hearing impaired children.
Our parents have grown in confidence and are excited by the new ideas they've been introduced to. We hope the visit will lead to new ways for all our parents to support each other and share information.
Meanwhile, our club starts up again for the autumn, and we look forward to welcoming back some old faces and meeting new families. Thank you very much for all you have done to keep our club running.
We have just had a wonderful event at our club, Savva's birthday! He has just turned two. Savva came to our club with his mom when he still couldn't walk on his own. Now he is very active. He runs around, climbs on the slide, plays ball, and much more besides. He has learnt how to play with other children and adults, which gives him a lot of pleasure. Savva has learnt how to say words and uses speech with his mom, our teachers and the children.
Savva has a fantastic mom! She is very sensitive to his needs and understands him. She helps him to learn to talk, to recognise and distinguish the sounds around him. She also chats to the other parents and children at the club and helps them.
We celebrated Savva's birthday altogether at the club. We made him a present, sang songs, and put on a puppet show. Savva and the other children watched the show avidly. They joined in with the hero's actions.
We are delighted to see Savva becoming a happy, sociable and communicative little boy in spite of his hearing impairment. We are looking forward to seeing him and the other children and their parents at our club in September, but now we break for the summer holidays. Thank you for all your help through this year. You're giving Savva and his friends the priceless gift of self-expression.
Our Club for children with impaired hearing and their parents has just celebrated its tenth birthday. For ten years we have been offering families help, support and friendship from the moment they discover their child's disability. For ten years we have been working to make sure that deaf toddlers don't miss out on learning to communicate.
At our party we were delighted to see children, who have already grown up and go to school, chat away, and use speech to communicate. Christina and Borya use speech and sign language. They go to school, as do Nikita and Yulia. Maxim, Makar and Seraphima all go to kindergarten. In the photos you can see how Nikita has grown up since he was a member of our Club. We also invited a group of folk musicians, he kept us all entertained.
We heard many kind words from the parents at the party. They spoke about how important it was for them to come to the Club, to be able to meet other parents in the same situation as well as specialists, and to be able to share experiences, receive support and become more confident in raising their child.
Thank you all for your support. Here's to the next ten years!
P.S. Would you like to help us prepare for the next Global Giving bonus day on May 7th? If you have 20 minutes to spare and would like to get more involved, please e-mail Sarah Gale on email@example.com.
Arina is now two years old. She is a wonderful, active little girl. She shows a lot of initiative when she is playing and tries to do everything independently. She is trying to talk and also uses sign language. Arina likes all our activities, both the music and the games. She gets involved with everything and also helps the other children, especially her friend Yegor.
Arina and Yegor are wonderful children. Today they came to the Club in their best clothes because they wanted to have their photo taken for you. We look forward to watching Arina progress and giving her the opportunities she needs to take her place in society.
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