University of Edinburgh

SSC Course 12: 'Are you thinking what I’m thinking?' An introduction to theory of mind and its application for children with a hearing loss

Presented on Monday, 16th November 2015 in Aberdeen

Course evaluation summary

Number of Participants: 37
Number of Respondents: 25

What did you find most valuable about today?

How Theory of Mind (ToM) and problems with this can impact deaf children. Info about how to use things learnt today in practice.
Good information and more in depth explanation of ToM. Useful and simple question/scenario to help develop ToM.
Really practical. Great ideas for implementing theory into practice and seeing how what I do now isn't too different. Doesn't mean huge upheaval, just integrating ideas into what I already do.
I found the whole day very interesting particularly some of the intervention strategies suggested. The use of books to facilitate and target areas such as false belief is certainly something I'll make use of.
Very useful strategies on how to develop language further and facilitate both the child and their families. The videos showed how you can put these into practise very well.
Gave us a lot of different strategies on how to get the most out of the children with all the different questions you can ask in different ways.
The speaker's extensive knowledge on ToM. Practical examples of assessment (Sally Anne) and opportunities to lead intervention to support and develop ToM.
I enjoyed finding out exactly what ToM is, as it is a term that seems flavour of education at present. I found the theoretical aspects valuable and will think about how I can change my practice to incorporate some of the ideas.
Learning about ToM. Importance of talking about feelings to young children - how do you feel/how would someone else feel? Really enjoyed hearing and seeing practical examples of therapy sessions - am a visual learner!
Revision of previous knowledge - link to current area of work.
Practical interventions. Understanding of why children with hearing impairment struggle with ToM.
The different ways that you can open a child's mind to ideas on emotions/feelings and strategies. How to get by false belief with deaf children, this can be hard.
Scaffolding strategies to enable children to be more socially aware and able to interact socially and maintain friendships.
To see different techniques that could be used and how different resources can be adapted in a variety of situations.
It was interesting to learn more about ToM. The concept of empathy and its importance to relationships with other children.
Getting the opportunity to find out about Auditory Verbal Therapy and how to implement ToM concept in my own teaching practice. Great presentation, very interesting and practical.
The opportunity to find out about ToM and to see clips of children with strategies used explained.
The idea of picking out what's going on behind actions, etc. The deeper exploration of emotions.
Lots of examples of theories put into practise, e.g. video clips to watch and modelling of use of storybooks/role play, etc.
The whole day has been very interesting. Particularly enjoyed the video clips of therapists working with children and parents.
Really thought provoking, great insight into thinking about thinking re giving children opportunities to discuss whether or not they consider the thoughts and feelings of others, how they take these feelings into consideration during daily activities.
Lots of information - looking forward to receiving presentation copy to go through again. Video clips very helpful to see sessions in 'real life'.
The insight of working with hearing impaired children families and the similarities with autistic children that I find myself working with.
Many useful suggestions made especially regarding questioning techniques to develop conversational skills and development. Also, false belief activities.
Everything presented was useful and I could use many of the ideas with my pupils.

What impact will today's learning have on your practice and what will you do differently?

I can think of a couple of children who have undeveloped ToM - will consider how to help them with this.
Will be more conscious of how I deal with social situations, encouraging children through direct support, e.g. tell him how you feel?/ask them why. Step back from situation to assess if child understands what is going on and knows how to deal with it.
Introduce questioning/inference to children at a younger age.
Given that my caseload has a large number of under 5s with a variety of hearing loss means I found today's input particularly relevant. I will be keen to put into practise some of the strategies suggested.
Expand children's vocabulary further so they can access the wider world and understand others feelings and learn more about themselves so they have a sense of being able to 'fit in' in the bigger world around them. The scenarios give good ways of how I can use this in my special needs setting.
Ideas on how best to talk to and get the best language out of the children in different scenarios.
It will impact the way in which I question children and lead discussion especially when working 1:1 with children. I will certainly take many of the practical examples given today away with me.
I liked giving the pupils the 'I don't remember' aspect, as I think some would find this more positive, although we need mainstream staff to take this in the correct way and not think the child is being 'clever'.
Will try to tease out scenarios more with young children and focus more on their feelings/thoughts. Will try and scaffold more and not take things for granted that they may know or think they should be able to work out for themselves.
Reminded of pre-knowledge. Reminded to summon more understanding when in relevant situations with relevant pupils.
Awareness raising with teaching staff and the educational psychology team. Consider the ToM inventory. Use narrative therapy to help develop ToM with children (HI and possibly ASD), although generalisation for some children might be an issue.
Use objects/props/books to talk about different situations and how they feel about things. Try to help the child I work with become more involved/inclusive with other kids.
To be more explicit and to 'teach' strategies rather than assume they are there.
Consider how my own practice can be altered, i.e. using more emotional language in lessons.
False belief tasks? Encouraging children to repeat adult requests/instructions to children.
To place myself in the minds of the pupils I support, to use what I have learned today to further support and understand my pupils' thoughts, behaviour, feelings and think about how I present/interact and inform them.
Greater awareness of developing pupils' awareness of going backstage' into identifying feelings in other to help socially.
Allow more time/place greater importance on expanding the social aspects, inference and empathy.
Think carefully about interactions to provide interpretation of social situations for children with hearing loss. Include more assessment of child's ToM/false belief tests. Select resources, e.g. books that more explicitly address ToM and use more language to help children explore affective and cognitive aspects.
Would consider using some strategies with pupils who may benefit from working on predicting and understanding inference.
I will give more time to discussing feelings, allowing children to understand that we all have feelings and how they can respond appropriately to these. I will think more carefully about questions I ask and whether children have the relevant background/general knowledge often required and assumed that they have in order to answer questions.
Depends on children I will be working with and their language levels. Try to develop some more basic affective-thinking resources.
Although at a much earlier development the more intensive sessions/interactions I can share with my students.
I will examine more closely my own questioning techniques to further conversations and language skills with HI pupils. I intend to implement some of the suggested activities.
I have a better understanding of ToM and will make more of opportunities to develop ToM with my pupils.

What further development opportunities would you like?

More ideas about how to use info gained in practice.
How best to implement practices discussed to best support children.
More practical ideas on how to be more auditory in my practice.
I am attending an Auditory Verbal Therapy course of the SSC in December, which is focussing on babies, so this will be a really nice follow up to today's seminar.
For Scotland to have a wider understanding of this for parents and professionals to access this.
For Auditory Verbal to be up and running in Scotland with a few therapists.
I am very new to being a teacher of the deaf, so am keen to develop my knowledge in all areas!!
I would like to explore some of the references offered and learn other perspectives of ToM from other practitioners, other than speech and language. Thank you. I enjoyed the day.
Would like to hear more about specific activities/games that could be used when working with 0-2 range specifically, as well as 3-5 range.
More link to older pupils.
Reference to specific books/lesson plans/group activities to help develop ToM.
Find out more that may work for older kids/teens.
Investigate further programmes of work incorporating AVT and ToM within them.
Further information re ToM?
Interested in the Auditory Verbal training but something I would consider in the future. Will definitely be looking at the website and resources mentioned.
More opportunities to develop awareness of helping children in social situations.
Working with older pupils and those with ASN.
Opportunities to read references/videos analyse own practice.
Maybe staff professional research during staff meeting on above topic.
I would like to learn more about AVT and ToM in order to improve communication with some of my children who find expressive language challenging.
More advice to pass on to parents of young HI children.
Learn about Auditory Verbal approach.