Monday, October 15, 2012

Football Day at Sound Beginnings

A girl catches a football
It's become a tradition at Sound Beginnings: come with your family, wear your Aggie gear, bring a football for student athletes to sign. It looks adorable--and it is--but there's some meaty stuff going on here.

For one thing, children who are deaf or hard of hearing are interacting with people they don't know, taking verbal cues from players as they toss the football around. "The kids are understanding these instructions from the football players," said Kristina Blaiser, director of Sound Beginnings. "That just shows what they have accomplished."

On Friday, Utah State University's football players came to spend part of a day with the families of the Sound Beginnings program. It was their third annual Football Day together.

A student athlete reaches to catch a football
Sound Beginnings provides early education to children with hearing loss whose families want them to learn to listen and talk. It is located within the Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education department here in the college. The program offers the training needed to use a hearing aid or cochlear implant to its fullest potential. The technology provides early access to sound; the training helps the child learn how to use it.

The service providers make sure the work seems more like play. "With preschoolers, you have to make it fun or they won't do it," Blaiser said.

It was an anticipated event--the children counted down the days until the football players arrived. When the time came, the parents of younger children were able to watch the older ones interact. It shows them what they can look forward to, Blaiser said.

The football event allowed everyone in the program to stop, celebrate and enjoy their community.

You can read more about the event in Cache Valley Daily news.

Thanks, student athletes, for spending a cool fall day with us!

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