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The problem with children who are deaf is that you have different competing methods
of education in the United States.
You have oralism, a method of speaking, and speech therapy, and audiology,
and you have signed communication, and everything in between, from ASL to PSE,
Pidgin Signed English, SEE, Signed Exact English, other methods, cued speech.
So does any one approach have a specific impact on any one kid?
We don't know.
My personal opinion from my personal experience is that for someone who is completely deaf
to try an oral method with someone who can't hear at all doesn't seem to make much sense.
I tell parents if you go up to the television and turn the volume down, and watch the news,
for example, and try and put down everything that you see, everything that you're getting,
in three minutes, and then run the tape again and compare what you got out of
that to what you heard when you turned the volume on for that three minutes,
you can't believe how much information you missed.
Again I'm not blaming all audiologists, I'm not blaming all cochelar implant companies,
I'm not blaming them, there are just so many people in the medical profession
who tell parents don't use sign language with your deaf or hard of hearing child.
They won't learn anything if they don't rely on speech and the technology they've been provided.
But the child still doesn't have 100 percent access to language.
And in the US it's ridiculous, if you look at the evidence
and at the statistics and the failure rates.
You know I meet people with cochlear implants all the time,
some have great English and some don't.
So statistics don't support it.
Some signed growing up and have great English and some don't, so it's hard to know exactly.
But literacy itself is really a huge problem, a huge problem.