As practitioners, we know the importance of considering all aspects of child development. Humour often forms the basis of childhood friendships and is considered a core component of well-being and social competence. However, research suggests that children with hearing loss do not grasp and produce verbal humour at the same level as their hearing peers (Nwokah et al, 2013; Vincent-Derroux, 2019).

Parents of deaf children often report that verbal humour seems to ‘go over their child’s head’, as they frequently do not acquire the vocabulary, world knowledge, higher level language and theory of mind required to perceive the ‘joke’. This can be due, in part, to a lack of overhearing the conversations of others, leading to reduced incidental learning (Cole and Flexer, 2019). Humour is a skill that can be learned, and adults play a critical role in supporting children’s appreciation and creation of humour through play and everyday interactions.

Join us for a free 30-minute workshop to explore some of the work of pioneers in young children’s humour research, including Paul McGhee, Doris Bergen and Vasu Reddy, participants will be guided through key stages of verbal humour development and facilitated to unpick the cognitive, linguistic and socio-emotional foundations required for mastery of each stage. 

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