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Key words:Information, Deafness Related Issues, Sign Language, Speech and Auditory Information
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As I read all my messages today more thoughts came to mind on using CS and/or ASL with deaf children. Lots of question, possible answers, and the knowledge that I need to learn more . . .
Deaf parents have it easy in terms of teaching language to their children, hearing or deaf. They automatically have a mode of communication to share with their children.
Hearing parents with deaf children are not so lucky. They do not automatically have a way to teach language to their deaf child. Should the child suffer because her parents do not know how to communicate at first? Should she wait for years until her parents are fluent or at lesst skilled in a sign system before she acquiries language from any source other than school? No. But then how can she gain competence easily and smoothly?
Cued Speech offers a tool for parents to communicate in a language with their deaf child quickly and easily. Precious time is not lost in language acquisition. As I mentioned before, a parent can learn to cue in a week and gain proficiency in a few months.
Should the deaf child born to hearing parents be exposed to sign language and signing deaf adults and peers? Of course. Should the parents learn about this community also? YES! Should the deaf child be allowed to be bilingual as early as possible? YES! Should hearing parents learn the function of Cued Speech and learn ASL ASAP? Yes, I think so. I am all for a Bi-Bi approach, as long as English is taught through Cued Speech at an early age and ASL is taught by native signers(hearing or deaf).
How can this all be accomplished? I don't know. Maybe by introducing Cued Speech into a present Bi-Bi system with the youngest classes and used all the way through and seeing what happens?
Do we need to respect the rights and choices of parents and the deaf community? YES! I believe Cued Speech is a good starting place for hearing parents and deaf children. The deaf child does not lose that critical time for acquiring language and the parents can learn as they go about everything they need to know in order to accept their child's deafness.
I look forward to hearing reactions to my questions and my attempts at answers. There are no easy answers.
Itinerant Teacher of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students and
Developmental Psychology Student
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Cued Speech was introduced over here, but apart from a few devotees, it never really took off.
At the time signing of any kind was frowned on by T o Ds. Also we were led to believe that it was difficult to learn and would only confuse the youngsters more anyway.
When schools here eventually bit the bullet and moved over to what we term Total Communication, most opted to use Signed English or Sign Supported English rather than BSL. My own opinion after about three years of this, is maybe we got it wrong and we should be using BSL except when 'translating'. (Few of us are proficient enough to do pure translations anyway.)
Our two handed finger spelling does not lend itself to
teaching of speech in the way I have seen yours used on
TV. Is Cued Speech similar to your finger spelling
Head of H.I. Unit
West Bromwich (Near Birmingham)
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Just my two cents about cued speech. Several years ago we had Dr. Orin
Cornett here at Marshall University for a weekend. He taught us cued
speech in that weekend along with the usual presentation stuff regarding
successes and failures, etc. I found it extremely easy to use and was
fluent within a week...of course it's like many other things...if you
don't use it, you lose it. But the relative ease with which I picked it
up confirms others observations. One thing that I am unsure of, and I
was hoping you cued speech devotees could shed some light on this
question, is how easy is it to learn to "read?"
Karen L. McComas
Communication Disorders, Marshall University
Huntington, WV 25755-2634
More info? finger firstname.lastname@example.org
Uploaded by: Melissa Close/Kent State University/Deaf Education Major