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Early years support

Photo: We're here for you and deaf children from the start

Lots of families tell us that they feel overwhelmed or unsure about what’s best for their child in the early years. By getting involved with our early years support, you can speak with other parents, at an event or through our parent volunteer network, and receive clear, practical information at our events and courses. 

We provide events and courses for families with a deaf child aged 0–8. Find the support you need by joining families like yours at: 

  • Family Sign Language courses
  • Raising a Deaf Child workshops
  • Information Days

You may have been involved in our Everyone Together project which ended in August 2019. For more information on how we will continue to support your family visit our FAQs page.

Family Sign Language

Family Sign Language (FSL) helps you to develop visual communication skills and learn signs which you may want to use with your child at home. Families with a deaf child aged 0-8 can learn signs for practical topics, including family, food, toys and games, daily routines, and feelings. All of our sessions are taught through play, so you feel confident using what you have learned with your child.

Courses are available in various locations throughout the year – if you would like to see a course in your area, let us know or check here.

“Learning sign was daunting, especially [when] we were learning whilst teaching our child. NDCS have shown us methods and resources to support and services that we can get access to. Because of this we are more competent communicating with all of the deaf community. Our daughter is significantly happier since introducing sign.”

Raising a Deaf Child

Most parents have difficult moments with their child, and deafness can sometimes make these situations even more challenging. Our Raising a Deaf Child support can offer practical information and advice, specifically for parents of deaf children.

Our facilitators can support you over the phone or at home with common challenges that families of deaf children face – if you’re finding things stressful, get in touch to find out more.

Information days

Want to learn more, meet other families, and have fun taking part in different activities? Come and join us at one of our information days, and you’ll have the chance to find out more about supporting your child in a relaxed and friendly environment. Our events take place throughout the year, and the whole family is invited. Check here for details of our events. 

“The best thing about today was meeting with parents who have gone through the same situation as me and my child.”

Parent volunteers

Often the best advice comes from other parents – if you’re looking for a friendly face who knows exactly where you’re coming from, our parent volunteers are here. As parents of deaf children themselves, they can provide informal support when you are facing a particular challenge, whether at point of diagnosis or at a turning point in your child’s early childhood. Volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds, and we’ll be developing the network across the country over the next three years. You can get in touch yourself, or ask a professional to provide a referral on your behalf.

“Meeting Anne today has been great – it’s shown me that I can survive as a parent of a deaf child!”

Want to know more?

 If you would like to know more about support for your family in the early years, email us at earlyyearsscotland@ndcs.org.uk or call 0141 354 7850. 

Isolation - supporting deaf children in early years settings