Quick Facts on Deafness and Hearing Loss
- 24-28 million Deaf and Hard of Hearing people in the US.
- 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents.
- 10% of those hearing parents learn to sign.
- 90% of those parents, do not learn to sign or communicate effectively with their children.
- 92% of deaf children graduate from High School with a 1st to 3rd grade reading level.
Importance of Early Language Exposure:
Research shows that Deaf children exposed to a first language by six months of age can and do develop written language skills as early as well as their hearing peers. (Supported by research by Dr. Christine Yoshinaga-Itano, PhD, CCC-A, Interim Vice Provost and Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Equity, SL Dept. Chair, University of Colorado at University of Boulder, at Boulder, Colorado.
Reading and Language Acquisition
A Language Base is necessary to develop a cognitive base. A cognitive base is developed by consistent, meaningful exposure to a clear language model. One that allows the child not only to internalize the meanings of the words, but all the intricate components of the language. Recent studies indicate the existence of a very narrow window of opportunity for optimum language acquisition. Some limit that window to the first 6 months of life while the more lenient include the first two years.
Factors Affecting Level of Competence and Success
- Onset of hearing loss
- Degree of loss
- Early intervention and access to effective communication and language
- Parental involvement and family support
- Motivational level
Results of Language Deprivation
Basic emotional, intellectual, and spiritual needs go unmet including the need for:
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