Which reading curriculum(la) do you recommend using with deaf/hh students? Do you support using cued speech with English speaking deaf/hh students?
Thank you for providing the opportunity to remind visitors that this site tries to provide people with evidence-based information about raising and educating deaf children. Only in rare circumstances does the site offer opinions or preferences, and then we ensure that the person writing the response is clear about that.
I do not recommend any particular reading curriculum for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. I know of different schools and programsusing different curricula, and I’m not aware of any evidence that suggests that one is any better than the other. The issue is the extent to which the curriculum is appropriate for the student and matches their strengths and needs (and is delivered in a corresponding manner).
With regard to cued speech, I used to be a stronger proponent than I am now. Cued speech clearly supports the reception of spoken language by deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. I infer, however, that your question relates to reading. There has never been any evidence that cued speech supports deaf children learning to read English. The evidence demonstrating cued speech to support reading subskills comes from work involving French or Spanish, which are far more regular in their sound-to-spelling correspondence. Clearly, cued speech has its proponents, and some children succeed well with it. But the evidence for supporting the the reading of English is lacking, and has been for the more than 40 years since cued speech was created.
How does my child, who is hard of hearing, qualify for an IEP? Are such children automatically qualified because they have a “hearing loss,” or are there criteria that have to be met?
A finding of eligibility for special education must be determined prior to the development of an IEP. The determination is made after an evaluation has been conducted by the education department where your child attends. The first step for you to do is to contact the educationl department and refer your child for an evaluation.
Once you have done that, a schedule will be prepared for the assessments to be conducted. When the process is completed, you will be invited to a team meeting to learn about the results. You can ask questions and will receive information about your and your child’s rights under the special education law known as IDEA (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).
The presence of hearing loss does not ensure that an IEP will be developed. The evaluations must show how the hearing loss effects academic progress and the IEP is designed to provide the needed combination of services to support academic success. Included may be modifications to the classroom such as a sound field system or the introduction of an FM system for your child. These services may also be provided if there is not an IEP as part of an accommodation plan.
Contact the school and request a meeting to discuss a referral for an evaluation. Be prepared to share information and remember that the right to an evaluation is assured. The determination of an IEP will occur at the team meeting and you can object to all or some of the findings.
These steps will serve to provide you with a general direction. Without knowing the extent of the hearing loss or current performance is difficult to provide anymore information.
What is the difference between American Sign Language and Signed English? Is there another name that people refer to Signed English? Is it preferable to teach kids Signed English?
Sign (or signed) languages are not universal languages, nor are they invented ones. They are, like spoken languages, natural languages, grown and transmitted in communities of language users. In the case of sign languages, the cores of these communities are deaf people and their deaf or hearing relatives. Languages constitute one of the most important characteristics of the cultural and psychological identities of various peoples. This process of cultural identification explains why deaf people in the United States use American Sign Language (ASL), deaf people in France use French Sign Language (la Language des Signes Francais), and deaf people in the Netherlands use Sign Language of the Netherlands (Nederlandse Gebarentaal). The structure of sign languages resembles that of spoken languages with their own vocabulary, phonology (albeit in manual form), morphology, syntax, and pragmatics; so ASL is not a form of English.
There are also systems that combine speech and sign according to different rules, and Signed English is one of these (as are Signed Dutch and Signed Polish). These systems differ in the extent to which they represent the lexical and grammatical properties of the spoken language in the sign channel. Some systems are strict, designed to represent the elements of a spoken language 100% in manual components. They manually encode English or Dutch fully, or at least that is the intention.
There are claims that deaf children will learn to read better if they learn a manually-coded form of the spoken/written language (like English), but there is little evidence to support that claim. Although systems like Signed English have the advantage of being more English-like, they do not “hold together” structurally the way natural languages like ASL do. Different children will find different modes of communication easier to master, and one could probably argue either way. ASL is a true language and at the heart of the Deaf community, however, while Signed English is an artificial sign system intended as an educational tool and is not often used in conversation.
Holcomb, T. K. (2013). An introduction to American deaf culture. New York: Oxford University Press.
Marschark, M. (2007). Raising and educating a deaf child, Second edition. New York: Oxford University Press.
I am living in India and fostering a 6 year old boy who has 95% hearing loss. He used to live in an orphanage and came into my foster care in July. Prior to this no one noticed that he was deaf. I want to look into getting cochlear implants for him, but have been told that because of his age and that he has gone 6 years having no auditory input, the CIs won’t work. Thoughts?”
Amazing that this child went six years until his hearing loss was discovered. This used to happen more than we would like to admit here in the United States, but thanks to newborn hearing screening we are usually able to diagnose hearing loss much earlier now.
Several things that make me curious relate to whether or not to pursue the option of cochlear implantation. I am curious as to whether this little guy has any vocalizations and how he makes his needs known. Do you have a sense whether he is bright and learns quickly? The reason I ask this is that sometimes children who are quick learners are able to slide under the radar and perform well in many arenas and their hearing loss gets over-looked. Alternatively, children who have multiple developmental delays in motor skills, learning, self-care, and if they have a lot of health issues as well, their hearing loss goes undetected as other health issues are the focus of intervention. I am also curious as to whether he ever had some hearing. If he does have the ability to vocalize he may have had hearing at one point in time.
First of all, I think you need to assure that this boy has access to language. As a child with profound hearing loss without amplification/implants he will need to have access to a signed language so that he can learn to communicate with the world. At this point, access to language (sign) is a main priority. In addition, I would also encourage you to advocate for a cochlear implant evaluation. He may indeed be a wonderful candidate. We know that children who learn quickly, who have had hearing, who have support to learn to listen and who are exposed to speech consistently will learn to produce the sounds of their language and within 4 years of CI listening experience, they may be able to produce a majority of the sounds, even if they get a relatively late start.
I have a 7 month old son, and although his hearing is fine, my wife and I would like to teach him sign language. We have seen a lot of books out there but I thought I would ask you and get your advise as to which book(s) you would recommend.
One thing I think you would want to avoid are “baby sign” books that offer artificially-created signs (designed to make money for the authors). If you’re going to sign with your hearing child, you might as well use a natural sign language – in our case American Sign Language. Many schools now accept ASL as satisfying their foreign language requirement.
Folks in the NTID Department of American Sign Language and Interpreter Education have offered three recommendations:
The Gallaudet Dictionary of American Sign Language
The Gallaudet Survival Guide to Signing
Basic Course in American Sign Language
They are available from Amazon and other retailers.
I am a Teacher Consultant for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students. I have a parent who is interested in purchasing a neckloop for her daughter who has a bilateral hearing loss and utilizes hearing aids. The parent was wondering if there is a source for reading reviews on neckloops or other equipment that an individual with a hearing loss may benefit from, before purchasing something, as the equipment is not cheap.
Assistive listening devices are an excellent augmentation to hearing aids for many children, however there are many options and it’s important to select the right one. The parents’ first step should be to consult with their daughter’s clinical or educational audiologist. The audiologist can determine which types of neckloops or other technology are compatible with her current hearing instruments. The audiologist can also help select a type of assistive device to best match her needs.
Prices can range from $40 to several thousand dollars for different types of technology, and it may not be necessary to spend a lot of money. Conversely, if the parents decide to invest in a more expensive system they should be sure that the system will work with their daughter’s current and possibly also future hearing instruments.
Some types of technology can only be purchased through an audiologist or hearing aid dispenser. Others can be purchased by the consumer directly. If the neckloop is purchased independently, there are often user reviews on the vendor’s website such as Harris Communications (www.harriscomm.com). Another vendor with useful reviews and an informative newsletter is Beyond Hearing Aids (http://www.beyondhearingaids.com).
A wonderful resource for parents is the Hearing Loss Association of America (www.hearingloss.org), a non-profit support group for those affected by hearing loss. Their website has in-depth information about assistive technology and offers special support for parents. The online forums offer an opportunity for the parent to ask questions directly to other parents and benefit from others’ experiences.
My 11 year old son has only become deaf over the last two years, the result of a neurological condition. He has good vocabulary, great speech and rounded communication skills following 10 years of growing up in the hearing world. His reception method is primarily speechreading, supported by some residual hearing. (His deafness is Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder – which for him particularly impacts speech perception).
Some professionals are recommending that he fully embraces Total Communication, becomes more integrated with Deaf peers and in particular learns British Sign Language. I am not sure. He has no experience of signing (other than basic alphabet), and has a preferred an oral/aural approach. I want to help him learn more about Deaf culture, but I’m keen that we take advantage of his 10 years of open communication to make sure that he doesn’t lose the ‘advantage’ he’s had.
Is anyone aware of any research on “late” presenting deafness in children, and the pluses and minuses of investing in BSL at this age.
It might be useful to separate out the two issues in this questions, that of diversity of language support and Deaf culture.
In terms of the language issue, the first thing to stress is that there are no ‘minuses’ of learning some BSL or Sign-Supported English (SSE) at any age. Nothing will be lost; there can only be gains if you opt for this type of environment. Your son may find BSL useful for learning or for socialising at some point (or a bit of both) or, more likely, find that SSE is a useful mediating tool for mixed deaf and hearing interactions and some support for listening and also literacy development (now or in the future). In either case, learning BSL and meeting and learning with other deaf children will be supportive and will not change his spoken language trajectory, only add a layer of support. Most children that he meets will probably also be using a mix of sign and spoken language for different purposes at different times and you will find in any TC setting that this flexibility is normal and expected and managed by the hearing and deaf adults.
With regard to the other question, about Deaf culture, entering into some sort of TC environment will immediately offer your son access to diverse deaf children and adults. In itself this will extend his understanding of deafness as he sees other ways of being and interacting in an environment where deaf and hearing children and adult rub along together. This is perhaps a more natural way to engage with Deaf community and culture which is entirely contextualised and nowhere near as overwhelming as seeing Deaf culture as a very separate land.
Given, as you say, the advantage that your son has had, I would suggest that keeping his communication options open would be linguistically and culturally positive and enriching if this would sit comfortably with family routines, practices and preferences.
Is research on Cued Speech being taken into account when evaluating and recommending a communication mode that promotes literacy in deaf children?
The wording of your question makes it a difficult, or perhaps sensitive one to answer (especially for someone who has been an advocate of cued speech). For those know unfamiliar with it, cued speech involves the use of handshapes and locations around the mouth to distinguish speech sounds that look the same. It thus supports the visual perception of speech (i.e., speechreading or lipreading). A recent study involving a large nationally-representative sample of deaf high school students indicated that over 50% of their parents thought they were using cued speech in school. The true figure is less than 5%, suggesting that many parents (and perhaps students themselves) are not familiar with the terminology used in educating deaf students.
Because you are writing from the United States an honest answer to your question would be “if research on cued speech is taken into account when evaluating and recommending a communication mode that promotes literacy in deaf children, it should not be used.” Cued speech has been shown to support the acquisition of reading-related subskills, when used both at school and at home, among deaf children who are learning French and Spanish as their first language. In its more than 60 years of existence, it has never been found to facilitate the acquisition of reading skills by deaf children who are learning English. According to Leybaert, Aparicio, and Alegria (2011), well-respected proponents of cued speech, this likely is because relative to French and Spanish, the sound-to-spelling correspondences of English are highly irregular.
Recommended reading: Leybaert, J., Aparicio, M., & Alegria, J. (2011). The role of cued speech and language development of deaf children. In M. Marschark and P. Spencer (Eds.) The The Oxford handbook of deaf studies, language, and education, volume 1, 2nd edition (pp. 276-289). New York: Oxford University Press.
I just found out that all of the children in our son’s deaf and hard of hearing Total Communication program are only receiving approximately 18 minutes per week each of speech therapy. Is there any research that we can use to request more SLP time?
This is a really important question. I don’t know that there has been any research that specifically relates to the question of amount of speech therapy time. The question is also difficult because the ages of the children are not indicated. Optimally, programs would determine intensity of service based upon a child’s needs, the child’s current functioning including current speech-language delay, the history of service, and the progress over time. Individual therapy with a speech/language pathologist (SLP), which appears to be the question posed, or individual therapy with a professional trained to provide speech, auditory skills, or what is referred to as listening and spoken language services differs in programs across the United States. If we have been following a child from early childhood and we can document growth over time from having individual services, which may include home intervention or clinic-based therapy, we would use this data to justify services for individual children. I believe that there is a study conducted by Ann Geers and Jean Moog that found that amount of individual intervention was related to spoken language outcomes of children with cochlear implants. However, I don’t know if the information was ever published.
This particular question, while an important one, is a difficult one to research because the needs of the child determine the intensity of service that each individual child might require. Because most programs, unfortunately, are not evidence-based, that is, withdecisions about service provision are determined by data collected by the program, we are left without evidence that could help families. In Colorado, we have used the Colorado Individual Performance Profile to determine the intensity of service and time per week of special services. However, we have not specified how that service would be delivered, for exmaple, in individual instruction in speech therapy versus in group intervention, specialized classroom.
I am a deaf educator looking for a research based reading program to teach deaf students. I am currently being required to use programs created for hearing children with “modifications” for the deaf. There has to be a program someone has come up with created specifically for the deaf. I can modify all I want but if the program does not take into account the special language concerns, it turns into just “the best we can do” and I want more for my students. They can “work” the program but it has no meaning to them. Any suggestions ?
Many teachers today are required to use Evidence-Based Practices in teaching students. As most teachers have discovered, materials with an evidence base are few and far between. This is of great concern for those of us who teach DHH children. The fastest way to answer your question is to refer you to Easterbrooks and Beal-Alvarez (2013), Literacy instruction for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. New York: Oxford University Press. Pages 18 through 33 address what material is presently available and what to do if you cannot find a curriculum or set of materials that does not have an evidence base. Table 2 in chapter 1 lists several sets of materials that have a developing evidence base. However, no one package can meet all literacy needs of all students. When there is no material with an existing evidence base, we recommend that you examine the material to determine whether it includes features that we know lead to better outcomes. For example, we have clear evidence that visual supports to learning lead to better outcomes for DHH readers. When reviewing material, if it incorporates routine use of visual supports (which we call a “causal factor” because visual support causes better outcomes), then based on that feature of the material, you can argue that it has a developing evidence base. There are five causal factors that we know support better outcomes: a) higher-order thinking skills, b) teacher’s communication, c) visual supports, d) explicit instruction, and e) scaffolding. If the material is founded in at least two or three of these causal factors, then you can argue with your administrators that it is based in the evidence, even if there is no single research article on the product itself.
You will also want to watch what is happening with the National Research and Dissemination Center of Literacy and Deafness (CLAD; http://clad.gsu.edu). This research group is studying DHH children in sites around the nation and will be creating targeted literacy interventions over the next several years.