For those who have their hearing deafness can seem difficult to comprehend. However, thanks to advancements in educational opportunities, children with a hearing impairment can access a number of vital services that can enable them to develop intellectually at the same rate as their peers.
For the Hearing, Deafness is a Difficult World to Understand
If you are among the hearing, deafness can seem hard to fathom. Most of us rely heavily on auditory means of learning about the world and about each other. We listen to our parents, to our teachers, to our brothers, sisters, and friends. We make decisions not only based on things we’ve seen, but things we’ve heard as well. We may love to listen to the sound of raindrops hitting the pavement . . . the birds whistling above our doorsteps . . . or the music flowing from our car radios. In other words, it can be difficult — if not impossible — for us to imagine a world without sound.
A Hearing Loss Does Not Diminish Intelligence
However, it is important for us to recognize the fact that, just because someone is deaf, that does not mean he or she has lesser intelligence. In fact, he or she may not have any learning impediment at all. Yet, it is true that those who are deaf may require teachers with communication modality skills in order to achieve their academic potential.
Types of Services Available
There are a myriad of educational services available to those who cannot hear. These include:
- Visual language training
- Interpretation services
- Closed captioning of film and video
- Note-taking assistants
- American Sign Language instruction
Even with these services, children who do not hear well may face a number of challenges in terms of mastering vocabulary, grammar, and other aspects of language. Therefore, they may need to rely on American Sign Language, finger spelling. Caring, competent communication modality skills teachers and teachers’ aides can assist such children to excel both academically and socially.
Some 90 percent of deaf children are born to parents who can hear. Consequently, it’s also important that support services be available to parents who are trying to cope with a child’s auditory disability. If parents have never had to deal with a family member with deafness, they may need instruction and additional support. This is because, for the hearing, deafness can initially be a mystery, but it is a mystery that can be understood over time.