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The oral method of communication emphasizes the development and production of speech through speechreading and the use of any hearing present. The premise behind the oral method is to allow a child with hearing loss to communicate with hearing individuals.

Click HERE for a list of therapists, clinics, and schools in your area providing auditory/oral programs.

Cued Speech
Cued speech is a method used to facilitate speechreading abilities. It requires the speaker to use simultaneous hand gestures around the face while speaking. The gestures, based on phonetic sounds, are composed of eight handshapes and four movements to help the listener visually distinguish between similar looking sound productions.

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These approaches utilize the child's ability to communicate through visual stimuli such as fingerspelling and sign languages.

  • Fingerspelling
    Fingerspelling uses handshapes to code the letters of the alphabet as well as numbers. In such a system, the words are spelled out using individual letters. An example of this type of system is the Rochester Method.
  • American Sign Language
    Currently recognized as its own language system, American Sign Language (ASL) is composed of positions and gestures of the hands and body to signify whole words or concepts. Being its own language, it does not follow the traditional word order of English grammar.
  • Manual English
    Signed English uses many of the traditional signs of ASL while maintaining English word order and grammar. There are several variations of this method, but they all attempt to develop abilities in reading and writing English. Examples of this system are: Seeing Essential English (SEE I), Signing Exact English (SEE II), and Signed English.

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Total Communication
Total communication (TC) is based on the idea that the child with hearing loss utilizes any and all of the communication methods needed in order to convey or receive a message. This system may include the following: speech, fingerspelling, manual signs, gestures, speechreading, cued speech, and the use of any residual hearing. Typically this method involves speech accompanied by signs in English word order.

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