There are many communication opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing children. Some will speak, some will sign, some will do both. All are great tools for the child to develop relationships, learn concepts, and interact with the world through the magic of language.
Listening and Spoken Language Approach
This approach involves the use of spoken language and listening skills for communication by children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (D/HH). The listening and spoken language approach teaches infants and young children to use hearing and speech to develop spoken language for communication and learning. Signs are not traditionally used in the listening and spoken language approach; however, natural gestures that are used in typical conversation may be included.
For more information on communication through listening and spoken language, see the following sites:
Within the listening and spoken language communication opportunity, there are different strategies and supports for children who are developing these spoken language skills.
- AVT works to teach children to listen and talk exclusively though listening and spoken language instruction. Gestures and cues are not used during Auditory-Verbal Therapy.
- Learn more about Auditory-Verbal
- Cued Speech is a visual mode of communication in which mouth movements of speech combine with “cues” to make the sounds of traditional spoken languages look different. Cueing allows users who are deaf, hard of hearing or who have language / communication disorders to access the basic, fundamental properties of spoken languages through the use of vision.
- Learn more about Cued Speech
- Visual Phonics is a system of 46 unique hand cues and symbols that represent the sounds of English without the ambiguity of English letters. Each hand cue is associated in some way with the production of the particular speech sound.
- Learn more about Visual Phonics
Some sites offering information and support for the listening and spoken language approach include:
Signed Communication is the use of American Sign Language, signed English, or other forms of signing for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
American Sign Language
- American Sign Language (ASL) is a visual language. With signing, the brain processes linguistic information through the eyes. The shape, placement, and movement of the hands, as well as facial expressions and body movements, all play important parts in conveying information.
- For more information about America Sign Language, see:
Signing Exact English
- Signing Exact English (SEE) is a sign system that represents literal English. It is a tool to make visible everything that is not heard. SEE follows the exact English being spoken including word endings and English grammar.
- Learn more from the SEE Center.
Pidgin Signed English
- A simplified language derived from two or more languages is called a pidgin. Pidgin Signed English (PSE) is best described as a combination of English and American Sign Language. Culturally Deaf people, signing with each other, often use ASL, but many use a mixture of ASL and English. PSE is most frequently used by those who use spoken English as their primary language.
- Learn more about Pidgin Signed English (contact between Signed/Spoken Languages)
- Comparisons of PSE, ASL, & SEE Storytelling Videos