There are five communication and educational options for children identified with hearing loss. They include auditory-verbal, auditory-oral, cued speech, total-communication and manual communication, or sign language.

Auditory-Verbal Approach

Children educated in this approach rely on aided hearing for communication. No manual or speechreading modes of communication are encouraged; rather the auditory system is strengthened and utilized to learn speech and language. Children are mainstreamed into typical hearing classrooms. Therapy sessions are for both parent and child, as the parent is highlighted as the primary language model and caregiver of the child.

Auditory-Oral Approach

Children educated in this approach may be in contained classrooms in an auditory-oral school with other children with hearing loss or mainstreamed into classrooms with typical hearing children. The children use both auditory and speechreading cues to acquire speech and language, however, manual communication is not encouraged.

Cued Speech

Contextual information is obtained in the form of hand cues that distinguish speech sounds that look the same as when reading a speaker’s lips.

Total Communication

Total communication, or ‘TC’, is a combination of different approaches. English, listening, cued speech, speech reading, and sign language may all be used in combination to communicate.

 Manual Communication

Also known as sign language, this mode of communication uses hand gestures to relay information. The auditory system is typically not utilized when using sign language. American Sign Language, or ASL, is widely used, has its own rules of grammar, and is considered by many to be its own language.  English is learned as a second language.