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Grades 8 – 12

Developmental Patterns for Adolescence (15 to 18)

Teens worry about many things, such as doing well in school, making friends, peer pressure, family conflicts, or performance in extracurricular activities. They also worry about crime, illness, terrorism, or other dangers based on what they may have seen or heard in the media.

Teenagers continue to be focused on social acceptance, but with a greater concern for finding a group that reflects their chosen identity. Concerns about the larger world, moral issues, and their future successes are common.

Teenagers are also developing a sense of membership in a broader community, perhaps in sports teams or in clubs; preparing for personal and economic independence from parents; learning to take primary responsibility for own emotional and behavioural expression; developing a personal worldview that includes ethical values and a life philosophy.

Possible effects of hearing loss on informal interactions

How parents and teachers can help

May reject hearing technology in an effort to fit in with peers

  • Continue to explore and discuss feelings of being a person with a hearing loss
  • Encourage friendships with others who have a hearing loss

May reject anything they “felt was done to them” (e.g. having cochlear implant surgery)

  • Help the student take control of his technology, and identification of alerting devices on the market
  • Encourage teens to take an active role in audiological appointments, reporting issues and asking questions directly to the audiologist (rather than having the parent lead the discussion)

May withdraw socially if they feel they don’t fit in

  • Encourage participation in sports, art, drama or other activity groups where students can be included because of their ability or interest
  • Consider and encourage peer support group activities with others in order to share their experiences as students with hearing loss through conferences, after school activities.

May became involved in illegal activities or substance abuse as a way to fit into a group

  • Provide opportunity to discuss activity choices and possible consequences
  • Discuss alternative options and opportunities to feel part of a group
  • Create a social group where the student can feel safe sharing experiences and issues
  • Identify areas of interest or strengths and select groups that support those interests or strengths (e.g., sports, chess, drama)

May feel left out of conversations if not aware of the current “in language”

  • Teach “cool language," figurative language and colloquial terms

May experience communication breakdown when interacting with peers

  • Continue to provide opportunities to develop social language practice scenarios and ways to enter conversations and to repair communication breakdowns

May experience cyberbullying

  • Discuss cyberbullying: meaning text messages or emails, rumours sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.
  • Explore safe ways to use technology
  • Encourage reporting of cyberbullying so it can be dealt with immediately


1.    Anderson, K. Social needs & I hate my hearing aids

2.    Anderson, K. & Arnoldi, K (2011) Building Skills for Success in the Fast-Paced Classroom. Butte Publications, USA

3.    Chansky, T. Worrywisekids

4.    Sinclair C. Mental Health for All Children.




1.    Ask & Answer Social Skills Games.

Games provide opportunities for students to develop and practice social skills in the areas of politeness, solving problems, initiating conversations, staying on topic, requesting information and understanding feelings (body language and what they mean).

2.    Outsmart Your Worry Tool Kit for Kids - High School/Middle School Edition

 Activities that address anxiety, fear, worry, and stress in teens.

3.    Stop Bullying.

4.    Tool Kits for Kids - The High School/Middle School Edition. Tool Kits target the emotional challenges often confronting children ages 11-18. The kits contain 20 effective strategies to meet these challenges. Kits are designed for children to use individually, or if preferred, with a parent or other helper.


6.    Canadian Centre for Child Protection

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