You may have seen the terms Cued Speech, cued language, Cued American English, and cueing. But what do they really mean? Are they all the same thing? Well, yes…sort of.
Let’s start with the term Cued Speech. Cued Speech was developed in the mid-1960s at Gallaudet College (now University) by Dr. Orin Cornett to make the phonemes of spoken English visible to deaf and hard-of-hearing children–and enable real-time communication–between parents and their children (and between teachers and students). (In very general terms, phonemes are the building blocks of any language; in English, these are the consonants and vowels that can be combined to create syllables and words.)
Cued Speech builds language and an internal understanding of a spoken language. So when we cue to our children, we are providing the building blocks for language, communication and ultimately literacy.
Building language in babies and toddlers who are deaf and hard of hearing is as simple as just cueing, the same way a parent would develop language in a hearing child. Still, there are some guidelines that provide an outline for parents in need of more specifics.
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By Sarina Roffé
The most important advice I received as the parent of a deaf baby was that to build language, I had to talk talk talk for months and months before my child would show signs of understanding language and it would be even more time before he would express language. The basic concept is language in yields language out.
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