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All Deaf/HH children can acquire language!

Know the Facts

There is an important difference between speech and language.

According to the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA).

You CAN have language without having speech.

Language is a symbolic (written, spoken or signed), rule governed system used to convey a message.

Speech is the verbal means of communicating. You can have speech yet lack a command of language.

Language is: 

  • What words mean and how the same word can have different meanings
  • How to make new words by adding endings
  • How to put words together and use them to communicate an idea
Speech is:
  • Articulation (speech sounds using the mouth, lips, and tongue)
  • Voice (Physical use of vocal cords and breathing to produce sound)
  • Fluency (the rhythm of speech)

Measure & Track Your Child's Language
BOTH Signs and Spoken Words

California was the first state to pass LEAD-K Legislation -SB 210 Language Equality & Acquisition for Deaf Kids - Kindergarten Readiness

Currently being implemented in California schools, Senate Bill (SB) 210 (Galgiani) requires the California Department of Education (CDE) to use the SKI-HI Language Development Scale (LDS) to measure standardized language developmental milestones in D/HH children (birth-five). This legislation is a direct response to the alarming number of Deaf and hard of hearing children arriving at school without language. The goal is to ensure language acquisition and monitor the spoken English and/or American Sign language development of young Deaf children. Your Early Start and preschool teachers will be administering the SKI-HI LDS twice per year, and reporting the results to the CDE. The goal of these activities is that all children who are deaf or hard of hearing will develop age-appropriate language skills and be ready for Kindergarten at age five.

Educational Approaches

The ASL/English Bilingual approach uses both English and American Sign Language through the ready use of children’s eyes and hands. The focus is on full communication access in American Sign Language and written English with the primary goal of being bilingual with mastery of ASL and written English.   This is an “inclusive” approach that benefits Deaf and hard of hearing children with varying degrees of hearing levels through fully accessible and natural pedagogies.

Total Communication (TC) includes the use of all modes of communication at the same time (i.e., speech, signing, auditory training, cue’d speech,  Signed Exact English, lip-reading, and fingerspelling). Children are provided with information in both auditory and visual formats. This allows the child to use the information that best suits his or her needs.

The Listening and Spoken Language approach teaches infants and young children to use hearing and speech to develop spoken language for communication and learning. Signs are not used in this approach; however, natural gestures that are used in typical conversations are included. The goal is for children to enter the mainstream after they have time to strengthen their language, social, and cognitive development in a Listening and Spoken Language program.