The Deaf Child in the Family and at School: Essays in Honor of Kathryn P. Meadow-Orlans

By Patricia Elizabeth Spencer; Carol J. Erting et al. | Go to book overview

9
Language in Sight: Mothers' Strategies for Making Language Visually Accessible to Deaf Children

Heather Mohay Queensland University of Technology

Despite changes in educational practices, advances in hearing aid technology, and even the development of cochlear implants, the majority of deaf children continue to experience delayed language acquisition, educational underachievement, and difficulties in parent-child communication. These characteristics cannot be attributed to an inherent lack of intelligence or lower academic potential on the part of deaf children, as was so frequently assumed in the past (see Paul, 1998), nor is it reasonable to ascribe them to a lack of commitment to the children's development on the part of parents or teachers ( Ramsey, 1997). Explanations of these disappointing outcomes have also been frequently sought in psycholinguistic theories of language acquisition, however, these are spurious as they are based on evidence from the spoken language acquisition of hearing children. Comparisons of the interactions of hearing mother-hearing child dyads with those of hearing mother-deaf child dyads have invariably found anomalies in the interactions of hearing parents with their deaf children, and these were held responsible for the children's delayed language

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