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Oral/Aural Method

   Oral deaf education is one that is family focused and extremely collaborative when it comes to the decisions in your child's education. Providing your child with the best education, the oralism method works diligently toward preparing your child to function normally and effectively in the predominant hearing world, by providing them with life-skills and a language base. The oral method takes what residual hearing your child has left and pairs it with today's state of the art listening technologies. The oral method discourages the use of sign language believing the only acceptable response is speech. Unlike other approaches, the oral method not only fosters auditory and speaking skills, but also visual skills in terms of learning to speech read. This enables your child to take visual cues from the speaker's lips to help them decode the spoken language. Each education is tailored specifically towards your child's needs with the intention of  standing behind your child and helping them to achieve their desire of hearing sounds and being able to speak for himself or herself.  The ultimate goal of this approach is to have your child mainstreamed in their regular school after having finished a deaf or hard of hearing special education.


FAQ's about the Oral Method:

When is the best time to start oral training?

The earlier the better! Intervention will be most beneficial in the language developing years of birth to six years of age. After the age of three, the training might become more difficult than if done before then.


What are the steps we need to take after our child is diagnosed?

You, as parents, will play one of the most important roles in your child's development. You would need to seek the services of an excellent pediatric audiologist in knowing what steps you need to take next for the type of amplification your child needs and so on. Once your child is in school, they will most likely need to see a speech therapist in order to help them understand and produce speech.


When should we begin to see results?

Since every child is different and learn at varying rates there is no set time at which you should see results.  Your child's speech-language pathologist and teachers should be able to show you the progress your child has made over time.  If you, or your child's educators, feel that your child is not progressing then they may advise you to begin another teaching and communication method.  It is important to remember that patience is the key when teaching a child who is deaf.  It will be a slow and enduring process that needs a lot of practice, effort, and assistance from you as parents.  Language isn't just taught in speech therapy or in schools.  You, as a parent, need to be talking to and working with your child continually throughout the day.  It is inevitable that as parents you will become your child's best teacher!

Is speechreading easy to learn?

While most deaf individuals rely heavily on speechreading, it is not a skill that is easily mastered. Only about 30% of the English language is visible on the lips. For example, it would be hard to distinguish the difference between "kite" and "night" on the lips. Proficiency in speechreading is primarily dependent on the person's grasp of the spoken language, and it will be harder for your child to pick up if they aren't exposed early to the target language.


What are the types of hearing technologies we as a family could look into?

Depending on your child's degree and type of hearing loss, and after consulting with your child's pediatric audiologist, there are different options of the kinds of benefits your child could receive from a specific

hearing technology.

Option 1: One option is the hearing aid, which is an alternative to surgical and medical implementation. Hearing aids amplify the sound by stimulating nerve cells, then sends signals to the brain for processing. There are three main varieties of hearing aids such as the behind the ear, in the ear, and in the canal hearing aids. The most frequently, and probably the safest, used aid on children is the behind-the-ear model.

Option 2: A second option is the cochlear implant. Candidates for cochlear implants are usually individuals who have been diagnosed with a sensorineural hearing loss and is severely hard of hearing or profoundly deaf. It consists of an external portion and an internal portion, which is surgically placed underneath the skin. Unlike hearing aids, the cochlear implant does not amplify sounds, but instead directly stimulates the auditory nerve. Implantation can be done as early as birth, and is considered an out-patient surgery. 


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