Guide for Parents of Deaf Children
This guide aims to help parents with deaf children get acquainted with the approaches and devices to use to manage the deafness of children.
How can you communicate with a deaf child?
Parents of a deaf child can use various communication options to develop oral language abilities. You can use the following educational and communication approaches, recommended by specialists (Bergeron et al., 2019):
|Auditory‐verbal therapy||The exclusive usage of auditory skills only to enhance the language abilities of a deaf child. Visual cues are prohibited for parents.|
|Aural–oral||Language ability is developed from a child’s hearing capacities. The facilitation of natural cues, such as lipreading, gesture, and facial expressions is allowed.|
|Total communication||Oral language is triggered with the combination of many cues simultaneously: auricular therapy, natural cues, lip-reading speech, and formal signs of American Signed English (ASL).|
|Bilingual-bicultural||The usage of both sign and oral languages (bilingual) and the |
integration in deaf and hearing cultures (bicultural) to be applied.
|Sign language||This option suggests the use of sign language (ASL) for communication.|
What assistive listening devices can you use?
Assistive listening devices are used with a hearing aid or cochlear implant to help a child hear sounds better. Among them are (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 2011):
- Hearing loop systems amplify the sound and create an electromagnetic field that is picked up by a receiver
- FM systems facilitate radio signals to transfer amplified sounds.
- Infrared systems convert sound into a light signal to transmit it to a listener.
- Personal amplifiers enhance sound levels and decrease background noise for a listener.
What factors affect the selection of an educational approach?
- Age of Identiﬁcation and Intervention (Saki et al., 2018)
- Family involvement
- Use of Hearing Aids/Cochlear Implant
- Speech intelligibility
- Presence of additional disabilities
Depending on different variables, medical professionals with parents should choose the most effective approach that would ensure a deaf child can successfully develop language ability.
For more information, please check the following websites:
- National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
- Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA).
- Academy of Rehabilitative Audiology (ARA).
- ADARA: Professional Networking for Excellence in Service Delivery with Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
Bergeron, François et al. “Contemporary Speech and Oral Language Care for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children Using Hearing Devices.” Journal of clinical medicine vol. 9,2 378. 2020, Web.
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. “NIDCD Fact Sheet: Assistive Devices for People with Hearing, Voice, Speech, or Language Disorders.” NIH Publication No. 11-7672, 2011, Web.
Saki, Nader et al. “Factors Affecting Age of Diagnosis and Rehabilitation Intervention in Children Receiving Cochlear Implant.” Int Tinnitus J. vol. 22,2, 123-127. 2018, Web.