Understanding and addressing sensory and/or physical difficulties
This chapter focuses on sensory and physical difficulties in the early years, learning needs that may result and addresses these potential ways. The greatest challenge for a young child with a sensory impairment is, most commonly, communication. A child who can hear and see will usually reach out and explore his/her surroundings naturally. Hearing sensitivity varies according to the frequency of sounds. One of the most important considerations in supporting young children to acquire communication and language skills is that, from birth, all of them, including those with a hearing impairment, need a rich communication and language environment, where there is a lot of interaction between children and adults. For educational purposes, young children with hearing impairments will probably require hearing aids, adaptations to their environment and/or particular teaching strategies in order to access the curriculum. Multi-sensory teaching is the simultaneous use of visual, auditory and kinesthetic-tactile senses to enhance memory and learning.