The thought of anything bad happening to any of our children leaves all of us feeling cold.  Discussing issues around safety can be difficult for any parent and even more so if communication with your child is already challenging. Without wanting to freak you out, let’s face it, there are hazards everywhere. The swimming pool, the car park, strangers etc. etc, and then there is abuse.

Statistics show that deaf kids have a 3 times greater chance of being abused, and an American study suggested that up to 50% of deaf children are sexually abused. If reading that sentence made you feel sick you are not alone. Our children are at risk. It’s not something that we want to admit, but should we turn a blind eye they may become just a number in those statistics. THRIVE aims to equip you to empower your families and children to protect themselves. Through sourcing tried and tested strategies and holding workshops where we can practice these together, we can protect our children.  Start somewhere, talk to your kids, sign to your kids, role play with your kids focusing on positive responses to potentially dangerous situations rather than drawing their attention to the danger as to not create unnecessary fear and anxiety. Eg: “There is a dog, he looks friendly. Ask mom if it is okay to pet him before walking up to him.”  Or before everyone gets out the car, turn around to your kids and brief them, “We are getting out now, there are lots of cars around. Wait for me to open your door and take your hand.”  You may be thinking that some of these sentences seem far too complicated for the level of communication that you may currently have with your child. Act them out, role play is an excellent tool.  Another great start would be looking at this website:

THRIVE is aiming to provide resources in the form of DVDs and video clips that can assist signing parents with the vocabulary to use in situations like these.

This information will be placed here once available so keep checking in.


The Kidpower Book – By Irene Van Der Zande. This comprehensive guide prepares parents, educators, and other caring adults to protect children and teens from bullying, violence, and abuse through awareness, action, and skills.

Available here.


Earliest Teachable moment – By Irene Van Der Zande. When it comes to safety, the earliest teachable moment is the best teachable moment if this is done in a way that builds understanding and skills instead of creating anxiety or fear.

Available here.