Social Relationships And Studying In Mainstream Schools
Main reasons for deaf children to join public schools are for them to be in an environment where they can interact with other children of their own age and feel included in normal activities as their hearing peers. Of course, it is important to be under constant observation, as they might be rejected or even isolated by the other children, which can affect their overall development.
In a study where nine deaf children joined a mainstream school, the general conclusion was that they did not encounter strong negative feelings when interacting with the hearing peers. All the children in a mainstream school will attract positive and negative reactions from the other children, based on their personal characteristics, and this was the same case for the deaf children, independent of their hearing impairment factor. However, usually, it seems that a hearing pupil would prefer to have another hearing pupil as a friend, whether this was a person to play in school, or a person to invite to play at their house. A hearing child that befriended a deaf child showed a higher level of social skills and a different mentality and understanding than other hearing children.
One of the main problems is the communication between children. Being at a young age, they do not know how to interact and communicate with children that are different from then, and thus, especially at this age, losing interest and giving up is very common.
There are different ways for a deaf child to study in a mainstream school:
This is when the deaf child attends a normal school together with hearing children, where they learn everything in the same way. Some help might be required for them, like note-takers, interpreters or speech therapy.
This is where they do some normal classes together with the rest of the same age students and some special classes with teachers specialized in deaf children. This will depend on the deaf community in that region. If there are more deaf children, they can take part in one class all together in a normal school with a special teacher. If there are not so many deaf children, they might take part in the normal classes with the hearing peers, and just few times a week take part in special classes with the specialized teacher.
Team teaching is when 2 teachers work together to teach a class, simultaneously. One is for the hearing children and one for the deaf children. This is not very common practice, however.