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Grades 2 – 4

Developmental patterns for all children

Children at this stage undergo rapid progress in all developmental areas. They are developing a growing independence and self-reliance. There is an increased interest in peer affiliation as they are learning how to get along with peers, adjusting to social rules, being part of a group of friends, learning to interpret social cues accurately and generate possible problem-solving strategies. As close friendship groups develop, the incidence of social cruelty and bullying become more evident. During this stage, children are beginning to develop a growing understanding of themselves, a conscience and a value system.

Possible effects of hearing loss on informal interactions

How parents and teachers can help

Classroom teacher expects self-reliance in terms of hearing technology

  • Ensure students know how to take care of their own hearing aids, cochlear implants and FM systems

May rely heavily on adult to assist in social situations and may experience difficulties with social skills when adults are not present

  • Directly teach: social cues; conversational repair strategies, problem solving strategies
  • Role play social situations
  • Play games that include social scenarios and how to practice resolutions in these situations
  • Ensure that students understand the results or consequences of their own or others’ actions or  comments

In the classroom, may follow lead of other students

  • Develop self-advocacy skills, promote self-confidence

May experience or witness incidences of bullying

Student may be unaware of bullying behind their backs  

  • Help children understand and identify bullying
  • Learn the difference between playful teasing and bullying
  • Discuss strategies to use if being bullied
  • Make sure children know how and where to get help

May feel different or targeted because they are wearing hearing technology, have a hearing loss or use an interpreter

May choose not to wear devices so they do not stand out or may choose to ignore the interpreter

  • Provide a classroom presentation to peers to help them understand what a hearing loss is, why there is a need to use assistive technology or an interpreter
  • Point out that they are on a more equal playing field with their peers when they DO make use of their amplification devices and/or the interpreter

May not report incidents of bullying because they feel that would make their situation worse

  • Help children to understand that telling is not tattling
  • Engage the child in discussion about relationships with peers (e.g. “Do you have good friends at school", “Do you ever feel afraid to go to school? Why?”, “Do other children ever bully you at school?", “What do you do if you see other children being bullied?”)


1.    Jamieson, Janet. Hearing, Learning & Belonging: The Social Challenges – and Successes – of Hard of Hearing Students. Presentation at VOICE conference, Guelph, Canada

2.    English, Kris. Bullying: Concerns and Strategies. Presentation at 2014 VOICE conference. Toronto, Canada


1.    What Do You Say…What Do You Do series – at home; in the community; at school.

Board games with social stories which improve and reinforce reasoning, differencing, pragmatics, narrative and conversational skills

2.   Social Scenes for Home, School and Community.

Pragmatic lessons to provide opportunity to discuss and practice appropriate behaviour in a variety of environments such as at the movie theatre, grocery store, on the phone, at school

3.   Social Scenes for Daily Living Skills and Feelings.

Pragmatic/social lessons which focus on the skills needed to be successful in the classroom. Scenes provide an opportunity for discussion around appropriate and inappropriate behaviour responses. Some of the situations in this resource include daily living skills such as when to use a tissue; cover your mouth when you sneeze; and feelings (e.g. what to do when you feel afraid; when feelings are hurt; when someone is being a bully, when excited).

4.    Social Skills Chipper Chat.

Twelve game boards of social stories designed to help students in social situations: politeness, responsibility, peer relations, compliance, assertiveness, staying focused, cooperation, body language, problem solving, self-management, social rituals, and language of negotiations.

5.    Positive Pragmatics Games.

These game boards encourage students to improve their social communication skills. These games target pragmatic skills: e.g. giving information, persuasion, requesting, telephone etiquette, greetings and politeness markers, feelings, figurative language, appropriate interaction, topic maintenance, and problem solving.

6.    Tool Kits for Kids. - Elementary School

       Teach skills to address the everyday emotional concerns faced by children, ages 5-11. Kits include 20 thinking and behavioural tools and parent-child activities.

7.    Deaf

8.    Hand Speak.

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