A teacher of children with hearing loss has involved them in specific theater productions to improve self-esteem, language and social skills.
Michelle Christie founded No Limits Theater Group twenty years ago. Although not quantitatively analyzed, she has found that children show "noticeable improvements" in oral language skills and self-esteem after participating in theater productions with peers in their situation. She writes the plays with her students in mind so they can practice the skills they need to at the level they are starting from.
Christie also makes her programs accessible to low-income families in particular. As she points out, children with hearing loss may be at a learning disadvantage to start with because of early language deprivation, but then that can be compounded if their families cannot spend the necessary time with them due to side-effects of poverty. So, she offers the programs for free and holds classes for parents with suggestions for what they can help their child with at home in the time they have.
While remembering her experiences, Christie reflects "when you have characters in costume and they're all with all their friends who had a hearing loss, they felt like they belonged...I remember just looking at the audience a lot and seeing parents just weep. They're just so happy to see that their child can do this."