School districts across the US are challenged when updating education policies for mainstreaming deaf children who wear hearing devices and cochlear implants at local schools.
While early intervention saves over US $200,000 per student for children with cochlear implants, parents across the US are applying for education services geared to children with these digital hearing devices in a clear shift away from traditional ASL-based services.
Spoken Language Early Intervention Is The Way Forward
What’s really interesting in Indiana (and elsewhere), is that:
Deaf or hard of hearing students bring their districts about $8,000 each in extra state funding, but advocates say that amount doesn’t necessarily cover expensive services that help students with cochlear implants, like therapy, closed-captioning and teacher microphone systems.
Contrasting this US$8k spent on special education per deaf child, with the US$200k saved by giving each child early intervention with cochlear implants, is fascinating.
Traditional deaf education worldwide is being disrupted by new hearing devices and cochlear implants, plus parents who want education services updated for a digital age.
Children with cochlear implants & hearing aids need:
- An auditory classroom environment to develop their listening and talking skills.
- Teachers who understand how to teach through the auditory-verbal approach.
- Targeted teaching of language constructs for early understanding by the students.
- Advocates (parents and teachers) who understand each child’s specific needs.
- Access to networks of children who are in a similar mainstream education setting.