Share This With Your Social Media Contacts


There are many behavior changes a child may experience as he or she goes through life. These are behavior issues related to feelings of anger, sadness, frustration, and irritability. They can become problematic when a child is unable to control or appropriately express them.

Sometime deaf children have no way to name, categorize, or normalize the emotions they feel.

They need an “emotional education” to learn what it is that they are feeling (feeling signal), words and names for those feelings, and appropriate actions for expressing them.

Poor Ability To Identify Feeling States. Feeling states are the internal sensation of emotions such as anger, sadness, happiness, and fear.

If a deaf child, is taught to categorize feelings by words/signs, the feelings do not become overwhelming, frightening, and out of control.

When able to identify and acknowledge what they are feeling, the child is more likely to get the support he or she needs.

Children need ongoing instruction and assistance to manage their feelings effectively. I recommend using the following three-step process:


  1. Learning to recognize feeling signals by observing others and noticing others and noticing how an emotion feels in his or her own body. Examples are tightening of the jaw, clenching the fist, a fluttering in the stomach, and a flush of heat to the head.
  2. Identifying and naming a feeling. Ask your child what a particular feeling signal indicates. “You got all red in the face, were you mad? embarrassed?”
  3. Learning what to do with a feeling. You can help your child identify how an expression of a feeling can have positive or negative results.

Your child may have a particular physical makeup that makes her sensitive to touch, foods, noises, lightening, or gravity.

Because of the way your child’s central nervous system reads stimulation, he or she may exhibit emotional expression in a manner that seems extreme (e.g. the child hits if her hair is played with).

If you want to investigate this possibility further, contact an occupational therapist who specializes in sensory defensiveness and deafness.

Consider and rule out possible physical causes of your child’s mood, such as fatigue, hunger, or over-stimulation. Plan ahead in order to avoid situations that may frustrate a tired or overstimulated child.

Praise your child when he or she expresses herself appropriately. Be patient. As your child matures, so will his or her ability to identify, understand, and communicate his or her feelings.

You can assist in this process by experimenting with physical and verbal outlets for expressing feelings appropriately. Keep in mind his or her developmental skills and limitations.



feeling-good-and-valuable | deaf girl resting

Dream State

Have you ever awakened from a dream in which you were trying to escape someone or something frightening and your feet would not carry you to safety?

Or, you were trying desperately to get help and found that you no longer had a voice? Attempting to reach a destination, but unable to find your way?

I would imagine that your relief has been as great as mine when, upon awakening, the realization has finally crept in that it was “only a dream.”

What, you may ask, does all this have to do with moodiness in young children? First, I would like to ask that you keep in mind the feelings produced by the dream experience: the frustration, helplessness, fear, and vulnerability.

We, as adults, can find relief in the discovery that these experiences were only dreams. But, for children, this experience is not just a dream but their day-to-day reality.

At no other time in one’s life are needs so great and skills so few as in early childhood. Beginning in infancy, a child is entirely helpless and dependent upon the instincts of caretakers.

We must guess, when a deaf infant cries, just what is the cry communicating. Is it hunger, a need to be held, or a diaper in need of changing?



Teaching a deaf child to manage moods and value feelings is to teach a child two of the most significant self-esteem builders.

After all, we all feel better about ourselves when we “behave” and are pleasant. Likewise, self-esteem grows when a child learns that feelings are to be respected and listened to, not shamed and dismissed.

feeling-good-and-valuable | deaf child with dad

Partially deaf boy playing baseball with dad.

Our nerve-endings, when they properly develop, are our best protectors against serious injury.

If we were to touch a hot stove, a quick message would be sent to our brain signaling pain and an equally quick response would cause us to remove our hand to prevent further injury.

In the same way, feelings become our best protectors against harm of other sorts. A child who learns to respect inner feelings and instincts, will know when a playground bully is out of line.

They’ll talk and complain to adults about being bullied, and ultimately, look for new playmates.

A child whose feelings have not been nurtured may dismiss uncomfortable feelings and endure uncomfortable circumstances.

Similarly, our feelings teach us about that which feels good and rewarding. They becomes a “barometer” to be relied upon, ever informing us of our needs, likes, dislikes, dangers, and pleasures.

The calibration of this fine tool begins in early childhood. It requires a delicate balance of empathy and limits, the willingness to “listen” to that which words cannot yet express; the creation of words, signing included, regarding the common language; and ultimately teaching a child to use words as well as actions to explain feelings.

Your child’s expressions may appear to be more graphic for a number of reasons: a) when signing, she probably will have stronger facial and bodily expressions: b) when learning to identify and express new feelings, the child might “overdo” it, and c) the child may feel an urgency to get her point across, especially if it is important to him or her.

Once he or she feels more capable of communicating effectively, the latter two factors will recede. However, pronounced expressiveness is the norm in the deaf community as well as for the deaf person who is not an active community member.

What’s important is to create a supportive family environment in which feelings and their appropriate expression are unconditionally accepted.


Check out these amazing tools designed to teach & promote quality, effective, integrated learning. Go to:

Self-esteem Elevation For Children Coaching Certification

Special Kids Learning Series CD:-Lets Go To

Toddler Talk: Techniques & Games – Proven Language Therapy Techniques

Creating Inclusive Learning Environment For Young Children: What To Do Monday Morning, 1st Edition

#HowDisabilitiesAffectChildren #SpeachAndLearningInTraining #HearingLossInAmerica #BabiesLearningSignLanguage

* Did you enjoyed this article? Please share it on your social media.



When you buy something from this website, I may receive an affiliate commission.
These are my opinions and are not representative of the companies that create these products.
My reviews are based on my personal experience and research. I never recommend poor quality products, or create false reviews to make sales.
It is my intention to explain products so you can make an informed decisions on which ones suit your needs best.


Back to Top

Go back to Home Page

Author:Ronald Kennedy

Ron attended the Art institute of Chicago in 1980 and Harold Washington College in 1997. He graduated from Malcolm X College in May, 2000 majoring in 'Hearing Loss in America' and 'Children with Hearing Disabilities Around the World' (Ron has another interesting website, https://lovefolks.com regarding Love, Dating & Relationship). A Graduate of Malcolm X College in 2000 with an associate's degree in applied science, Ron also worked with the 'Chicago Area Autopsy Service' which is affiliated with the Medical Examiners Office, near downtown Chicago. The service covered all the local and suburban hospitals when reports of a death is called in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*