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.