Common questions about Let’s Listen and Talk

On this page we answer some of families’ common questions about Let’s Listen and Talk. If you have any other questions that we do not answer here, please contact us.

Please note: We are waiving all fees until further notice for the Let’s Listen and Talk programme so that families who need it at the current time can benefit from our advice, information and guidance.

baby-17-300wWho provides the programme?

The Let’s Listen and Talk programme is provided by The Elizabeth Foundation for the many families who would like to access our unique expertise but are not able to attend our family centre in Hampshire regularly in person.

Our Let’s Listen and Talk course leaders have many years of practical experience supporting young deaf children and their families. Visit this page to find out more about The Elizabeth Foundation.

What are the aims of the programme?

The Let’s Listen and Talk programme has three key aims:

  1. To help families understand more about their child’s deafness and some of the issues relating to this.
  2. To enable children to develop their listening and spoken language skills as well as build their self-esteem and give parents the confidence and knowledge to make informed decisions on behalf of their child.
  3. To support the range of professionals involved in providing services to preschool deaf children.

What are the programme’s key features?

We offer the programme through a mixture of ways – you can choose which one(s) suit. Visit this page to read about the key features.

A baby with hearing loss and their family - The Elizabeth Foundation for deaf children - Lets Listen and Talk baby programmeWho is it for?

Our programme is suitable for any family with a baby or young child (under 5 years old) with any degree of deafness who would like to help their child learn to listen and talk.

If you’re the parent or carer of a young deaf child (from birth to 5 years), why not join Let’s Listen and Talk?

It is also suitable for professionals providing education, health or other services for deaf children and their families.

What age of child is it for?

Our programme supports speech and language development for young deaf children from birth to 5 years old. We have divided the programme into three age groups:

  1. Baby Programme: birth to around 18 months (available now)
  2. Toddler Programme: around 18 months to 2½ years (available now)
  3. Preschool Programme: around 2½ to 5 years (available now)

We define the boundaries between these age groups very loosely, so the stage of the programme you use with your child may not necessarily be the same as their actual age, especially if they are close to the boundary between two age groups. 

Does it matter how deaf my child is?

preschool-course-500wThe simple answer is no. What matters is where they are in their journey developing good communication skills. The families who choose to use our programme have children with all degrees of deafness – ranging from moderate through to severe and many who are profound.

Most of the children have sensory neural hearing losses and/or Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD). This means their deafness is permanent. Some of them may also suffer from ‘glue ear’ as well. For those without a permanent deafness (ie glue ear) the impact will be such that it has resulted in a significant delay in their speech and language development.

We are flexible and experienced in supporting children with all types and degrees of deafness. There are many causes of deafness, some of which might result in additional needs and we have experience working with children with very varying ability. 

How much time will it take each day?

We have designed the Let’s Listen and Talk programme to fit into everyday, busy family life. The more time you spend, the more you and your child are likely to get from the programme, but just 15-30 minutes most days can make all the difference!

We have also tried to keep the Let’s Listen and Talk activities as simple as possible, requiring minimal preparation, and using objects and toys that you will probably already have around the home (or that are easy to obtain).

baby-course-pouring-juice-300wWe have split all of the online information into short and quick-to-read chunks (organised into three programmes, each divided into sections and topics), illustrated with photos and videos, and our online system keeps track of where you’ve got to and what you’ve completed. We have made the online materials accessible through computers, tablets and smartphones so it is easy for you to access whenever you want and wherever you need. And your profile will move with you between the different platforms – so, for example, you could start a lesson on your computer then log-in using your phone when you’re out and about to pick up where you left off.

Can I use signing?

Whilst the focus of our Let’s Listen and Talk programme is on developing your child’s listening and spoken language skills, we recognise that many families may also wish to sign with their child.

In our experience the two approaches can work well together provided the signing approach is one appropriate for use in conjunction with spoken English. The evidence also shows that learning sign language does not interfere with the development of spoken language. 

Is there a cost?

Please note: The Elizabeth Foundation is waiving all fees until further notice for the Let’s Listen and Talk programme so that families who need it at the current time can benefit from our advice, information and guidance.

The Elizabeth Foundation is a registered charity and relies on income from a range of sources to support as many deaf children and their families as we can, wherever they live – please consider making a donation to help support the costs of us providing free access to the Let’s Listen and Talk programme.

In order to make sure that this service is sustainable in the long term, we usually make a charge for joining and participating in the Let’s Listen and Talk programmes, but we are waiving it in response to the current unprecedented situation.

How do I join?

It is quick and easy to join any of the Let’s Listen and Talk programmes – the Baby programme, Toddler and Preschool programmes are all available now.

To join:

  • Either go to our Join page or go to the relevant programme page (Baby, Toddler or Preschool)
  • Click on the ‘Join this course’ button.
  • You will then be asked to complete a quick joining form
  • You will then be able to access the course materials immediately – for all courses, no matter which course you initially join. 

Or you can go to the ‘How to join‘ page and select the programme you want to join.