Hesperian Health Guides

Hesperian Health Guides

Deafness makes it harder to learn social skills

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HealthWiki > Helping Children Who Are Deaf > Chapter 10: Social skills > Deafness makes it harder to learn social skills


A woman and a vendor speaking while a girl holds a banana.
Ramani! Put that back — it's not yours!
Oh, that's fine, she can have it.
No, she should know better!
Ramani wants a banana, but she doesn't understand that her mother must pay for it first.

Children who can hear learn a lot about the world by listening to what goes on around them. Many of the social skills they learn are never taught to them directly, but develop as they listen to other people talking with each other. Children who cannot hear miss a lot of this information.

A child who cannot hear well often finds it harder than other children to learn how to behave with other people. She does not understand the behavior she sees and the reasons why people behave a certain way.

This is true especially when a deaf child and her parents are not able to communicate well with each other. When she misbehaves it may be difficult to explain how she should act. She may become frustrated and misbehave even more. A child who misbehaves a lot may get left alone by other people.

A deaf child needs extra help learning how to communicate, how to cooperate with others, and how to control her behavior.


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