Considering Alternative Means of Expressive Communication

While learning to listen and speak is possible for many children who have hearing loss, there are some children who, for reasons of additional disabilities or other complicating conditions, can learn to listen with technology but may struggle to produce spoken language.  What choices should parents and professionals consider when deciding how to best help these children?  Below, I’ll discuss two case studies of children in this situation and some factors to consider when planning intervention.

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Say It LOUD and CLEAR

You may have heard rumblings about some legislation popping up in various states around the US regarding language acquisition for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.  What are these bills all about and how could they affect your family?

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But What Will He Do When the Hearing Technology Is Off?

One common question I hear about children who are deaf but listen and speak with the help of hearing technology is, “But what will he do when the cochlear implant [or hearing aid, or Baha] is off?”  What about bath time, swimming time, night time?  What if a battery dies or equipment malfunctions?  Are those reasons enough to learn sign language? Continue reading

Aim for the Middle

It is so exciting to read about people with hearing loss in the news accomplishing great things.  Academic award winners, artists, actors, athletes — their stories raise public awareness about hearing loss and dispel stereotypes about people who are deaf or hard of hearing.  Conversely, there are those people with hearing loss who struggle mightily — never achieving age-appropriate language abilities, falling behind in school, or failing to find employment.  With such a broad spectrum of outcomes for people with hearing loss, how do we make sense of it all?

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