Hearing impairment nowadays is becoming more common, especially among children and it is therefore given more importance. Parents are becoming more aware of the symptoms of hearing impairment and are given more awareness on the importance to intervene as early as possible. Therefore, since more hearing impaired children are being worked on from an earlier stage, one can notice an increase in the efficiency of communication of such children. Moreover, since every hearing impaired child has different communication needs, advances in technology have created different communication options and various substitutes for hearing impaired children to choose from. For some, they benefit enough from hearing aids or cochlear implants to be able to sufficiently access spoken language, while for others this may be difficult, so they opt for sign language. In conclusion, nowadays these children can lead normal lives and are mostly able to communicate their daily needs just like a hearing child would.
Communication is at the heart of educational process (Mogford – Bevan & Sadler, 1992). It is a well-known fact that a child’s hearing impairment, whether mild and fluctuating, or severe and irreversible can reflect on the child’s hearing. However, a hearing impairment not only imposes a threat to communication, but it firstly interferes with language acquisition and speech development. For hundreds of years, people have debated the best ways to provide communication skills and education for deaf and hard-of-hearing children. According to the National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), the earlier deafness or hearing loss is identified, the better a child’s chances of acquiring language, whether spoken or signed. However, it is also important to keep in mind that each child is unique. It is important for parents to; first of all, understand the full nature and extent of a child’s hearing loss. This will, furthermore, help each member of the family understand how to communicate with the hearing impaired child. Lastly, optimizing residual hearing may be advantageous. Hearing impaired children may benefit from hearing aids or cochlear implants.
Hearing impaired children are mainly born into two main scenarios, either born to hearing impaired parents or to hearing parents. These two scenarios cause a difference in the different modes of communication a hearing impaired child is exposed to. Hearing impaired children can be exposed to two main modes of communication, mainly spoken language or signed language. In some case hearing impaired children are exposed to both types of communication. Most children born to hearing impaired parents are first exposed to signed language, since there is a great probability that their parents are signers as well.
As stated above, there are mainly two different philosophies when it comes to communication of a hearing impaired child, oral or auditory approaches or sign language. Oral or auditory approaches...