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Methods to Help Special Needs Deaf People (SND)Understand the Word of God

By December 1, 2023No Comments


(Note: This is a continuing series of articles about Special Needs Deaf (SND) — Deaf people who, for one reason or another, need special methods to teach them.)

  1. Gestures – Some of the common everyday gestures we use daily are perfect for teaching SND deaf. In fact, I use gestures every time I teach the deaf. Some examples are thumbs up (good, success), thumbs down (bad, failure, lose), throw the ball, denial (2 hands waving in a denial manner), here, there, and many others.
  2. Individual Group Method – This may seem like a contradiction, but this method helps us to repeat and repeat things without becoming too boring.
    It is simple really. After teaching a lesson, ask one of the students to stand with you at the front of the class. Then ask them simple questions about the lesson. I usually point to the pictures and ask who, what, etc. Make sure they face the class. As you ask questions, both the single student and the rest of the class will be reviewing the lessons.
  3. Opposite Technique – Many times, SND deaf have a very bad habit of copying everything you say without understanding it. It is good that they are copying and learning, but we want to enforce their understanding.
    We do this by saying something wrong. For example, “sin go Heaven.” If they do not respond or agree with you, they do not understand. However, if they say, “No, sin Hell,” they understand it.
    My most used example of this is after someone makes a profession of faith. We explain salvation, then say a sinner’s prayer. After we pray, I let them rest for a minute. Then I say, “You Hell,” and nod. If they have no response or agree with me, they did not understand. But if they say, “No. Me Heaven. Me accept Jesus, finish saved. Heaven me,” they understand.
  4. Do Not Assume They Understand – Many times, workers assume the SND deaf already know things. (This is true for other deaf, too.) Be sure they know what you are teaching. Ask questions about people, places, things, words, and common everyday events. You will be surprised sometimes at the things people do not know.

    For example, be sure the deaf know Bible stories, Bible words, Bible places, history, Bible culture, and things or objects.

    Next time I’ll share examples of each of these. Understanding comes from clear communication. Make sure they understand!

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