Why Choose Cued Speech?
Book: "Choices in Deafness: A Parents' Guide to Communication Options", edited by Sue Schwartz, Ph.D.
Chapter 12 "Cued Speech: A Professional Perspective" by Jane Smith, M.A.
1. Research shows that Cued Speech promotes literacy. Considerable evidence shows that even a mild or moderate hearing loss can interfere with literacy development, creating significant delays in reading comprehension and other academic skills. Cued Speech enables deaf children to develop phonics skills naturally and thus become good readers.
2. Research also shows that Cued Speech improves expressive language, receptive language, and speechreading skills.
3. Cued Speech is a relatively easy system to learn. Parents can learn the entire Cued Speech system in ten to fifteen hours. They can become proficient and cue anything to their child within a few months. If parents learn Cued Speech, they can be sure that their child receives the language that she cannot hear.
4. Cued Speech promotes vocabulary growth. The time from birth to five years is regarded as an optimal and critical period for language acquisition. A hearing loss during this time alters a child's ability to learn vocabulary and language. Research shows that hearing parents of deaf children tend to oversimplify their language when they interact with their child. This oversimplification can limit vocabulary growth. With Cued Speech, you can interact the same way you would with a hearing child and use normal vocabulary.
5. Cued Speech can be used with the spoken language of the family, be it English, Spanish, Russian, Hindi, or other. This is important, since 90 percent of deaf children are born to hearing families.
6. Cued Speech can be and has been used as a second language for ASL users. Some families choose to use ASL at home and use Cued Speech at school to learn English.
7. Cued Speech enables a child to see the morphological structures that are difficult to hear. For example, for the word "jumped" we say "jumpt," not "jump-ped;" The /pt/ sounds are difficult to see and hear. We say "I talk, but he talks," adding the difficult-to-hear /s/ sound for the third person. These and other rules of English can be internalized naturally through Cued Speech.
8. Cued Speech helps a deaf child recognize pronunciation. The child can learn how to pronounce words such as "hors d'oeuvre" or "tamale" or "Hermione" that have pronunciations different from how they are spelled. A child can learn about accents and dialects. In New York, coffee may be pronounced "caw fee"; in the South, the word friend ("fray-end") can be a two-syllable word.
9. Cued Speech can be used to learn additional languages. It has been expanded to include non-English phonemes in over fifty languages such as Hebrew, Spanish, Hindi, Chinese, and French.
10. Cued Speech is a great tool for children who have cochlear implants. Cued Speech develops an internal phonological model of speech and language that helps a child verify what she is hearing via the implant.
11. Cued Speech can aid children who have normal hearing by have other disabilities such as dyslexia, apraxia, and developmental or auditory processing disorders. Because Cued Speech is multisensory and integrated with speech, it can help hearing children who can process information better through their sense of sight then their sense of hearing. Similarly, it is also an important communication tool for deaf children who have additional disabilities because it is a tactile, kinesthetic, and visual way to get language across.
12. Cued Speech is at one's fingertips all the time. Whether your child is in the bath, in the pool, or tucked in bed without her listening device, you will still have clear communication.
Many people mention they have heard of Cued Speech, but are curious to know more in depth about the visual mode of communication. The link below is a great article that describes how Cued Speech differs from Sign Language.