Deafness is the inability to hear any sound. It can be caused by many situations of conditions and can also occur at any age. People go deaf as a result of sudden complication of a virus, disease, nerve damage, or injuries caused by noise. The prevalence of deafness is that one out of eight hundred babies is born deaf, often because of genetic disorders. Deafness, in certain contextual applications can be referred to as hearing loss. Those who have this condition are at times referred to hard-of-hearing.
Hearing loss is a condition with a miniature of hearing problems at one end and extreme, complete deafness at the other. Hearing loss is basically caused when something blocks sound waves from reaching the inner ear. Partial and total deafness results from different conditions. These include ear infections, fluid build up behind the eardrum, holes in the eardrum among many others. Genetic factors are among the cause of sensor neural hearing loss. Many cases of profound deafness in children have genetic sources. “…the deaf are born incapable to reason…”.
A student with deafness or related disabilities normally has deficits in language and speech development due to a diminished or lack of auditory response to sound. These students will display varying degrees of hearing loss which, in most cases results in language difficulties. Teachers are supposed to be very careful when handling children with hearing loss. They should not assume that these students have other developmental or intellectual delays. In most cases these children have intelligence that is above average. These children have difficulties in following verbal expressions as well as expressing themselves. They always follow and never lead. The best way for these children is the use of hearing aids as well as sign language among many ways of dealing with hearing loss.
In the past, the education of the deaf has always been n issue that involved debates. Between the dominant societies, the deaf were viewed as a group of defective hearing. These were viewed as a minority that continued to fight for their rights to be educated. The education of this group continued to be an area of serious debate. There later came up the emphasis on the importance of deaf children receiving adequate information through the development of their skills of reading, writing as well as arithmetic. There was a belief that if these three concepts were incorporated, lip-reading and speech could be easily learned as social arts.
Sign language is one of the many ways the deaf use to communicate as well as receiving information or messages. In sign language, or signed language, instead of acoustically conveying sound patterns, visually transmitted signs are used to bring out meaning. This is done by simultaneously combining hand shapes, orientation and movement of the hands, arms and body as well as facial expressions to express thoughts. Education systems have adopted very modern and reliable ways of using sign language effectively. With live video and audio feeds, the interpreter can see the deaf party and converse.
Lip reading, also known as speech reading is a technique f understanding speech by visually interpreting movements of the lips face as well as the tongue with the information provided. People with normal vision, hearing and conscious social skills use information from the lips and face to aid aural understanding in all conversations. Most speakers who are fluent have the ability to speech-read to some extent. This is because each speech sound has a particular facial and mouth position. “Speech and hearing share the same source in the brain…”.
The deaf child or student usually attends classes that are special in a way. They are self-contained. These classes are often referred to as all-deaf classes. This way the deaf student is mainstreamed, because there are classes and concepts that are not taught. Mainstreaming here means giving preferences for the exceptional students, who in this case are the deaf and the hearing. Therefore the best way to deal with these students is to integrate them in certain activities so as not to make them feel separated. Integration means they are included in programs that normal people engage in. This then brings about the idea of inclusiveness.
Therefore, the deaf or hearing impaired are not very different students, but rather they only lack the crucial opportunity to hear sound. But these students can still communicate and learn concepts just like the normal student. All the same, we are therefore left with the crucial responsibility of integrating and including them in society. This goes all the way to providing aids to assist them in comprehending concepts.
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