Sunday, June 15, 2008

Communication Methods

Oh, the decision on which communication method is best for Lucas!

Before we even learned that there are various theories on communication methods in the deaf community, such as cued speech, sign language, auditory-verbal, auditory-oral, total communication, etc., Nate and I naturally gravitated toward total communication. We chose Total Communication as our communication option for Lucas because it uses multiple and reinforcing methods of communication to support both receptive and expressive language development (sign, voice, speech reading, gestures, cued speech, facial expression, …).

It seems to make the most sense to us to provide him with lots of options! As language teachers ourselves, it seemed like a natural fit to teach him ASL. What's another language when you already speak 3? Don't get me wrong, we want Lucas to hear and speak in the worst way, but we also want him to have options. I almost feel as if we would be doing him a disservice if we didn't teach him sign language. When he's older, he can then choose for himself.

Here are definitions for the various communication methods in the deaf community.


Aunt Christy said...

What a fabulous idea! You guys are an adorable family and so lucky to have one another. We love checking out pictures of little Lucas, he is so animated in his expressions, obviously he is a very intelligent little guy and why not as it is in the genes:)

I need to sign up for a class here in NC for sign language, have actually wanted to do that for years! LU guys!

Christian's Mommy said...

We found that TC provided us the greatest amount of flexibility in our home in the early stages of Christian's diagnosis. We had a mix of everything, signing while speaking and using Cues to help with sounds that you really can't sign (like CUEING "MOO", instead of fingerspelling it).

We've adopted more of an AVT approach now that Christian has his implant. However, we still sign with him as his second language. It's something we chose that is important to our family and we will keep with us for those times where he won't have access to his implant (like the pool!)

Congrats on making such an important decision so early :)