Parents are encouraged to visit programs, talk with professionals and other parents in order to determine which methodology is compatible with the family and the child’s needs. It is the family’s choice.American Sign Language/Englishas a SecondLanguage(ASL/ESL)
Auditory-Verbal Unisensory Cued Speech Oral Auditory-Oral Total Communication DefinitionA manual languagethat is distinct from spoken English (ASLis not based onEnglishgrammar/syntax). Extensively used within andamong the deaf community. Englishis taught as asecond language.A programemphasizingauditory skills.Teaches a child to develop listeningskills through one-on-one therapy that focusesattention on use of remaining hearing(with the aid of amplification).Since this method strives to make the most of a child’s listening abilities,no manual communication isused and the childis discouragedfrom relying onvisual cues.A visual communication system ofeight handshapes (cues)that represent different sounds of speech.These cues are used whiletalking to makethe spoken language clear through vision.This systemallows the childto distinguish sounds that look the same on the lips. Program that teaches a child to make maximum use of his/her remaining hearing through amplification (hearing aids, cochlear implant, FM system). This program also stresses the use of speech reading to aid the child’s communication. Use of any form of manual communication (sign language) is not encouraged although natural gestures may be supported.Philosophy of using everyand all means to communicate with deaf children. The child is exposed to a formal sign-language system (based on English), finger spelling (manual alphabet), natural gestures, speech reading, body language, oral speech and use of amplification. The idea is to communicate and teach vocabulary and language in any manner that works. Primary GoalsTo be the deafchild’s primary language and allow him/her tocommunicate before learning to speak or even if the childnever learns to speak effectively. SinceASL is commonly referred to as "the language of thedeaf", it preparesthe child for social access to the deaf community.To developspeech, primarily through the useof aided hearingalone, and communicationskills necessaryfor integrationinto the hearing community.To develop language and literacy skills necessary for integrationinto the hearing community. To develop speech and communication skills necessary for integration into the hearing community. To provide an easy, least restrictive communication method between the deaf child and his/her family, teachers and schoolmates. The child’s simultaneous use of speech and sign language is encouraged as is use of all other visual and contextual cues.Language Development(Receptive)Language isdeveloped throughthe use of ASL.English is taught asa second language after the child has mastered ASL.Child learns tospeak through the early, consistentand successful useof a personal amplificationsystem (hearingaids, cochlearimplant, FMsystem).Child learns to speak throughthe use of amplification, speech readingand use of"cues" which represent different sounds. Child learns to speak through a combination of early, consistent and successful use of amplification and speechreading. Language (spoken/sign or a combination of the two) is developed through exposure to oral speech, a formal sign language system, speech reading and the use of an amplification system. Expressive LanguageASL is child’sprimary expressive language inaddition towritten English.Spoken andwritten EnglishSpoken English (sometimeswith the useof cues) and written English. Spoken and written English Spoken English and/or sign language and finger spelling and written English HearingUse ofamplificationis not arequirement for success with ASL.Early, consistentand successfuluse of amplification (hearing aids,cochlear implant,FM system) iscritical to this approach.Use of amplificationis strongly encouraged to maximize the use of remaining hearing. Early and consistent use of amplification (hearing aids, cochlear implant, FM system) is critical to this method. Use of a personal amplification system (hearing aids, cochlear implant, FM system) is strongly encouraged to allow child to make the most of his/her remaining hearing.Family Respons-ibilityChild must haveaccess to deafand/or hearingadults who arefluent in ASL inorder to developthis as a primary language. If the parents choose this method they willneed to becomefluent tocommunicate withtheir child fully.Since the familyis primarilyresponsible forthe child’slanguage develop-ment, parents are expected to incorporateon-going traininginto the child’sdaily routine andplay activities.They must providea language-rich environment, make hearing ameaningful part ofall the child’s experiences andensure full-timeuse ofamplification.Parents arethe primary teachers ofcued speech to their child.They areexpected tocue at all times while theyspeak; consequently,at least oneparent and preferablyboth mustlearn to cue fluently for the child to develop age-appropriate speech &language. Since the family is primarily responsible for the child’s language development, parents are expected to incorporate training and practice sessions (learned from therapists) into the child’s daily routine and play activities. In addition, the family is responsible for ensuring consistent use of amplification. At least one, but preferably all family members, should learn the chosen sign language system in order for the child to develop age-appropriate language and communicate fully with his/her family. It should be noted that a parent’s acquisition of sign vocabulary and language is a long term, ongoing process. As the child’s expressive sign language broadens and becomes more complex, so too should the parents’ in order to provide the child with a stimulating language learning environment. The family is also responsible for encouraging consistent use of amplification. Parent TrainingIf parents arenot deaf, intensiveASL training and education aboutdeaf culture isdesired in orderfor the family to become proficientin the language.Parents need tobe highly involvedwith child’steacher and/or therapists(speech, auditory-verbal, etc.) inorder to learntraining methodsand carry themover to the home environment.Cued speechcan be learned through classes taught bytrainedteachers or therapists. A significantamount of time must be spentusing and practicing cuesto become proficient. Parents need to be highly involved with child’s teacher and/or therapists (speech, aural habilitation, etc) to carry over training activities to the home and create an optimal "oral" learning environment. These training activities would emphasize development of listening, speech reading and speech skills. Parents must consistently sign while they speak to their child (simultaneous communication). Sign language courses are routinely offered through the community, local colleges, adult education, etc. Additionally, many books and videos are widely available. To become fluent, signing must be used consistently and become a routine part of your communication.
What is involvedAmerican Sign Language (ASL) is a visual gestural language with it's own grammar and syntax.ASL is different from signing English. Fingerspelling (use of a manual alphabet to spell words)is actively integrated into ASL for proper names and other terms for which there are nogenerally accepted signs. A bilingual approach supports development of American Sign Languageas a child's first language, with development of English as a second language through reading,writing, and spoken language (specific to each child's potential and needs). Exposure to ongoingfluent ASL models are considered integral to the success of this approach.
What supporters believe
Supporters of this approach believe that visual language development is crucial to a deafchild's linguistic, cognitive, social and emotional growth. This approach supports AmericanSign Language as a valid and valuable language that has proven successful for developingan avenue for communication, life success, and literacy development for many Deafindividuals. This approach supports the belief that a child can most easily learn languagevisually through ASL, and then use ASL to help learn English. Supporters of this approachunderstand the wide variety of potential deaf children have regarding auditory andspeech skill development and believe that development of auditory and speech skillswill hold a different level of importance for each child and family. With careful planning,auditory and speech skill development can still be addressed at an early age when visuallanguage is emerging.
While the bilingual approach is gaining support as a valid approach for addressing the needs ofmany deaf children there continue to be many questions about it's use. There are questionsabout how a child makes the transition from use of ASL as the first language to Englishas a second language through reading and writing. There are also many questions relatedto how to address auditory and speech development within the context of this approach.There is sometimes concern on the part of hearing parents and hearing professionals thata bilingual approach may not provide the child with the necessary communication skills tointegrate into the 'hearing' world. Another concern is that an environment to promotesuccessful implementation of this approach (exposure to Deaf peers, Deaf role models,and ASL language models) may not be readily available in many schools.
Total Communication Approach
What is involved
Use of all modes of communication- sign language (ASL or manually coded English),spoken language, mime, facial expression, gestures, etc... to facilitate languagedevelopment and communication. The intention of this methodology is to providea child with any modality necessary to support the child in developing language.It's intention is not that all modalities be equally weighted and utilized for allchildren. The most common embodiment of Total Communication, however, hasbecome Simultaneous Communication. Simultaneous Communication is the use ofthe spoken word simultaneous with the signed version of all or part of the spokenutterance. The signs used are usually an attempt to match the spoken message.
What supporters believe
Supporters believe that use of Total Communication will provide a child withaccess to a visual language base and at the same time encourage developmentand use of spoken language. It is believed that if a child is provided with accessto all communication modes that language and communication skills will developand positive social-emotional development will be promoted.
There are numerous concerns related to Total Communication (TC). Evidencesuggests that use of all communication modes as proposed by a TC approachdoes not necessarily guarantee development of either a full spoken languageor a full visual sign language. In terms of developing a language through signing,children may be exposed to varying signing systems in various programs. Thereis not one unified signing system used in each TC program. Some TC programsincorporate ASL, however, teacher fluency issues are of concern in many programs.Children in TC programs are often exposed to a telegraphic version of Englishand an incomplete version of American Sign Language. In terms of developingspoken language, many TC programs appear lacking in the structure needed toin bringing functional spoken language communication to children.
A major concern in relation to TC programs is the evolution of Total Communicationto be interpreted as Simultaneous Communication. When a child is provided withlanguage that is spoken and signed at the same time, there is concern that clearcommunication suffers. The signed component of the message may contain inaccurateor incomplete information and the spoken component of the message may be altered.This may cause difficulty for children in developing a solid language base in eitherAmerican Sign Language or English (signed or spoken).
What is involved
Cued Speech is a system utilized to assist in clarifying speechreading informationfor a child. Hand based cues are provided to help a child differentiate the variousphonemes of speech that look similar on the lips. The system includes eight handshapesrepresenting groups of consonant sounds and four locations of the handshapes nearthe face, each representing a group of vowels sounds. A combination of these handconfigurations are coordinated with the natural movements of speech. This systemreportedly can be learned in a short time (about 20 hours of direct instruction)and proficiency can be gained in 6 months to a year.
What supporters believe
Supporters of this approach believe that use of cued speech will provide thenecessary visual support for a child to have access to spoken language. Supportersbelieve that children using this approach will develop reading and writing skillscomparable to hearing peers and develop the communication skills necessary tointegrate into hearing society. Some supporters of this approach are looking athow use of this system can be employed with children using ASL to help thesestudents transition from development of ASL as a first language to English as asecond language.
Cued speech was developed as a system to assist a child receptively in obtainingspoken language. It does not necessarily help a child develop expressivecommunication skills. Children who use cued speech may or may not developeffective spoken language communication. Person's who use cued speech arelimited to communication interactions with other cuers and cued speech transliterators.This pool of cued speech users may be limited.
What is involved
This approach supports development of spoken language through use of a child'sresidual hearing. Appropriate, consistently functioning hearing aids or other listeningtechnology is integral to the success of this approach. Using this approach the childis also trained to obtain as much information as possible from speechreading.Speechreading is the ability to watch the lips and face of a speaker to obtaininformation.
What Supporters Believe
Supporters of this approach believe that vocal communication is the predominantmedium in the world for social exchange and for maximum development of literacy.It is believed that provided with state of the art technology and an appropriatelearning environment, that deaf children, regardless of their hearing level can haveaccess to spoken language for successful development of language and communicationskills.
Historically there has been a notable lack of success bringing spoken language toprofoundly deaf individuals. The use of the oral approach makes everyday life andcommunication a struggle for many deaf children and may suppress the identity ofthe child as the attempt is made to normalize the child to hearing standards. Whilethere are some children with sufficient residual hearing to learn spoken languageusing this approach, there is concern that a large number of deaf children will nothave the potential for full access to Spoken English, making the learning of Englishdifficult, if not impossible. There is fear that when only spoken language is utilizedin the early years, that a child may develop the ability to say a few words, but maynot develop a full language. These children may develop some ability to speak, yetthey do not have a language for communicating. Subsequently they may be delayedin areas of learning and social-emotional development. This delay in establishing asolid early language base may then set up the child for a pattern of failure.
For children who do not succeed using an oral approach, sign language is often seenas a 'last resort'. There is concern, however, that if sign language is initiated past thecritical years for a child's language development, that development of sign language asa full language will be a more difficult challenge for the child.
As you plan for a child in your class who is deaf or hard of hearing, it is crucial tobe aware of the language and communication competency the child brings to theclassroom. It is important to assure that the child continues to have complete accessto language for continued language and cognitive development as well as for access toall educational information and social interactions.
- COMMUNICATION OPTIONS--REFERENCE CHART.
- Support Services Handout Series from Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center