Sounds From Lips

On a daily basis, having to teach only six students is good news for most teachers. However, a lady instructor from the hearing impaired program sees this a whole other way. The local special education cooperative has a program where her six students, aged from 5 to 15, belong to and their funding is made possible by a three year federal grant. When it comes to classes on learning disabilities the coop serves 19 school districts.

Profoundly deaf are four out of the six students with two who are hard of hearing. Hard of hearing students have a decibel loss of 60 or less and can usually function adequately in a regular classroom with special assistance. People who are profoundly deaf encounter losses of 90 decibels or more. Making special learning methods available for someone is valuable in this case. Taking into consideration their hearing needs and capabilities the students from the hearing impaired class use hearing aids.

Through a special audio device students are able to hear the instructions given by the teacher. The number of radio frequencies where the phonic ear system can work is 83. With a receiver worn by each child, the teacher is able to hand out instructions through a special microphone. Because of the possibility to transmit through different frequencies, a teacher can communicate with a child per given time.

Nothing less than fantastic is what the students are provided with through the one room facility that takes an 11/2 hour ride. A huge amount of money has been used to allow for everything being crafted specially. Tons of visual aids and audio equipment can be found in the carpeted room other than the full kitchen. To learn language, recipes are interpreted and this is what the kitchen is being used for.

We do nothing without language, because the greatest obstacle the students must overcome is language, she says. Permanently storing words in the mid requires for 10,000 repetitions. This method is required for these students even if other people find it boring. Words that describe objects are fairly simple for the hard of hearing child to grasp, because they can associate by sight. When speaking of today, tomorrow, yesterday, and time, less meaning is given.

With a number of methods teaching is made possible. Much trust is given to a learning experience that applies total communication where signs and speech are used together. Teaching students lip reading also provides for another mode of hearing and this time it is through lip movement. Communicating verbally is expected from students as the oral teaching method is favored among the rest. Without the need for different communication practices our society may begin to accept these children easily.

There is another method used to teach which is the tactile method done through touch. By touching their teacher’s throat or feeling her tongue, the students understand the g, s, or th sounds. Here it is pretty normal to enter the classroom and have the student place his hand in the teacher’s mouth. Other than social studies and math, grammar and spelling are taught as well. When the student is prepared to be integrated into other classes in the school system, he may study speech, gym, auto mechanics, music, typing, and home economics. When a student is 18 years old and younger the class could be attended.

Her motivation for helping the hearing impaired may come with much speculation. Much justification is provided when it comes to her choice of careers. Just turning five years old, she was diagnosed with a hearing impairment. Aside from closed eustachian tubes during her birth, there was no cartilage in her ears. Through corrective surgery, she and the people she helped were able to recover from hearing loss. In terms of hearing loss in children, she knew that she will be helping out when she was only in the fifth grade.

She received her special education degree from a college in Illinois. A certificate in learning disabilities and degrees in deaf and elementary education are her achievements when she attended a university in Florida soon after. In Fort Lauderdale she worked for a school for the deaf before coming to Southwest Kansas two years back. Despite the arduous tasks she performs daily in teaching the hearing impaired children, she uses the phonic ear system, where the sound goes right into their ears leaving them no choice but to listen to her.

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