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    New online toolkit helps to boost positive mental health and wellbeing

    A toolkit to support the mental health and wellbeing of deaf children has been launched by Anna Freud in partnership with the National Deaf Children’s Society today (30 January 2024).

    ‘Deafness and Me’ is a resource for early years practitioners to support the mental health and wellbeing of deaf children.  This toolkit aims to build understanding of the barriers that deaf children may experience and provide information and activities that can build positive mental health.   The document can be downloaded from the Anna Freud website and is divided into sections:  

    • sense of belonging and deaf identity 

    • forming relationships and being social 

    • understanding feelings and emotions. 

     Abi Miranda, Head of Early Years and Prevention at Anna Freud said:   “Early intervention and access to language, including sign language are key to giving a deaf child a firm sense of belonging and deaf identity. This is achieved by involving other children too.   “All of that means that deaf children can feel included in the shared moments that are so central to any early years setting, from engaging in lessons, to making new friends.   

    “That’s why we’ve put together this new resource in partnership with the National Deaf Children’s Society, in recognition of the need for specialist support for 0 to 5 year olds.  

    “These resources are a crucial resource for early years practitioners, for promoting development opportunities and learning between deaf babies and children and their hearing peers.” 

    Emma Fraser, in-house Teacher of the Deaf at the National Deaf Children’s Society, said:  

    “These resources are really important in bringing to a wider audience the experience of being deaf in our modern world. 

    “Deaf babies and children face a unique set of barriers in accessing communication and language and this toolkit aims to help promote understanding of those challenges.”  

    The term ‘deaf’ is being used to refer to all types of hearing loss from mild to profound. This includes deafness in one ear or temporary hearing loss such as glue ear.