Communication Options - Royal Institute for Deaf & Blind Children

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Communication Options

People with a hearing loss may need extra help learning to communicate. When it comes to how you or your child communicates, you have options based on your personal preferences and the degree and type of hearing loss.

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Emily with her teacher in GBS

Paths to communication

There are many different paths to communication for adults and children with hearing loss. No matter what path you choose, it’s critical that you seek assistance and support at the earliest possible time for the best chance of success.

Listening and speaking

Where appropriate, hearing aids or a cochlear implant can help children listen and learn to speak. Our early intervention services can help encourage and develop listening and language.

Auditory Verbal Therapy

Auditory verbal therapy encourages children to develop listening skills in order to develop their spoken speech and languages. This happens through one-to-one therapy using the child’s residual hearing with hearing aids or cochlear implants and guiding and coaching parents/caregivers to facilitate their child’s listening and language development. The focus is on establishing listening without relying on visual cues.

Auslan

Australian Sign Language (Auslan) is the language of the Australian Deaf community. It is a complex, structured language with roots in English, Scottish and Irish sign languages. It is an expressive language that combines two-handed signals, body movement, facial expression, mime and other gestures to communicate a rich variety of concepts and subtle meanings.