This is a good question for newly parents to ask Early Interventionist before making a decision how their new Deaf baby will be nurtured at start.  Over 90 per cent of the parents of Deaf babies are hearing.

Let’s define the word, outcome, in relation with ideologies from different organizations working with deaf babies and children such as AGBell, EHDI, VOICE(Canada), etc.  The definition of “outcome” is this: “The results or evidence of the Deaf child’s learning and social experiences”.

I would like for you to tell me your outcome with whatever you have been through whether it is Deaf bilingualism or Deaf oralism.

It is the fact that at least 80 percent or more of the Deaf babies have started with the oralism approach at the beginning and then why we are still having problems with Deaf education today since this ideology of oralism only approach started over 100 years ago.

Here is what Susan Gregory from University of Birmingham said about Deaf children of Deaf parents;

Success of deaf children of deaf parents

There have been many studies of attainments of deaf children, a number of which indicated that deaf children of deaf parents were more successful academically than those with hearing parents. These results emerged in studies of reading, writing and academic achievement and, in some instances, spoken English. Attributing this to the early use of sign language in these families lead to the conclusion that sign language could be beneficial in the education of deaf children.

The issue is, of course, more complex than this. For example, some have argued that this greater achievement could be because the deafness was due to genetic, rather than other causes, which were more likely to be associated with other additional disabilities. Alternatively, or in addition, it may be that deaf parents are better at establishing the general pre-linguistic skills that are essential for later language development, and this facilitates higher levels of attainment. However at the very least it could be said that the early use of sign language with deaf children does not inhibit intellectual and linguistic development.

The finding is reinforced in other studies. A recent book published in the USA, based on a review of 208 studies involving 171,517 deaf people, found a superiority of those born to deaf parents on a number of scales from non-verbal tests of IQ (Braden, 1995).

Seems that the outcome of successful Deaf children is bilingualism.

Should we start discussing with AGBell, EHDI, VOICE(Canada) about the outcomes of their ideology and how we can work and collaborate for what is best for Deaf babies and children in schools?

What you say?

  1. Bridget P. says:

    I was brought up deaf oral with no contact with the Deaf Community. I grew up thinking I was the only one in the world that couldn’t hear! I was mainstreamed in public school and was often ridiculed daily by my hearing counterparts! I had only speech therapy in grade school and pretty much it was up to me to make sure I understood the teacher not the other way around. I didn’t have a choice! My parents were told no sign language oral only! I struggle now as an adult to learn sign language and be a part of the Deaf Community! Bilinguale is the best in my opinion, I would not have struggled sooo much growing up and I would have had a sense of identity, self-worth, and pride! I hope parents will understand we aren’t broken! We are unique, smart, and worth the extra effort it takes to make sure we can succeed in both the hearing and Deaf worlds!

  2. johnfegbert says:

    Bridget, P.
    Thank you for your story about what it is like going through life. There are many, many out there that have the same experience and it did not have to be.

  3. Paul Kiel says:

    I agree about how deaf fare with deaf parents than deaf with hearing parents. It is a classic example of audism that caused years and years of abuses.

    I grew up being told that oralism is better than manualism. (in those days ASL was unheard of.)

    I was told to go to hearing high school. I was ridiculed many times. I had low self-esteem.

    ASL helped me fare better, overcome low self-esteem and increased my vocabulary.

    Oralism should be banned. Two federal studies have slammed it failure!

    It is high time that we collaborate with EHDI to even the keel. I am leery about who is funding EHDI.

    It is cochlear implant companies funding those conferences to gain their control over the deaf market.

    Is it?

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