Cued Speech: Guide

Cate Calder | View as single page | Feedback/Impact

Children with different levels of hearing loss

If a child has a mild hearing loss CS may simply be used to support their understanding of individual phonemes for literacy learning or for things like word endings that they may be missing.   CS can also be used to help them to correct any pronunciation errors and to help them develop lip-reading skills.

If a child has any other degree of hearing loss including profound with no audition at all – CS can be used in all the ways given above and for complete access to spoken language through vision which perfectly complements any hearing they may also be able to use. 

'You don’t need to have ANY hearing to benefit from CS (see chapter 3 in Cued Speech and Cued Language for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children) 5.  CS fully supports any listening the child can do.  CS is of real benefit both before implantation - ‘experiencing a cued language early in a child’s development will have lasting effects on the child’s ability to learn that language auditorily later, when they receive the cochlear implant’ …and after implantation - ‘comprehension does not develop exclusively by the auditory channel but necessitates audiovisual integration.'  (Leybaert, J. & LaSasso, C.J. 2010) 6

CS is particularly recommended for children with Auditory Neuropathy/Dys-synchrony*

One of the leading authorities on AN/AD is Charles Berlin Ph.D., who is Professor of Hearing Science and Clinical Professor of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, LSU Health Services Center and also retired Director of the Kresge Hearing Research Laboratory, New Orleans.  He has managed over 300 cases of the disorder.

“The family must understand and appreciate the many differences between speech and language.

Our primary job is to teach children LANGUAGE by stimulating their brains with meaningful words, sounds, symbols and associations.  Normal-hearing children learn language as a result of auditory stimulation, by eavesdropping, imitating, playing verbal games, singing songs, etc.  Children with hearing disorders cannot learn language as easily by eavesdropping like their normal-hearing peers.  They have to learn by eavesdropping VISUALLY.  Thus, language can be learned and appreciated WITHOUT hearing speech clearly and without expecting speech to be produced.  That is to say, abstract concepts and their representation can be signed, or Cued (eg put the book ON…under…along side of…the table; play nicely; show me a picture of ….; where is…; what day is today?; etc) but until the child has grasped the nature of these abstractions, speech will not necessarily follow.  Signs generally carry NO representation of the sounds of the language.  Thus the signs for BABY and the sign for BOY have no /b/ sound coded in them.  Those words, when properly Cued, will always have a representation of a /b/ sound in them.

Using Cued Speech, families can also raise multilingual children who might understand Spanish, English and Dutch for example.  I know of families where the children use three modes of communication, spoken English, ASL and Cued English."

To see the full article by Dr Berlin, click here

An article that was published in the January 2016 BATOD Magazine explains and addresses misunderstandings often made about CS as a system and its use.