For over 30 years, families used cued speech to give deaf children visual access to sounds for lipreading (speechreading in the US) and to facilitate the child’s literacy by using the family’s language for reading and writing.
Visual Cues To Speech Sounds
A very small number of children (with today’s digital hearing-devices) don’t get to hear certain speech sounds to benefit lip-reading, and this is where cued speech comes in. This option is also a back-up when hearing-devices are off, say when a child is going to bed, bathing or swimming.
Interest in cued speech grew recently, with the first music video to use the method, called “Go”, by Twista. Families and school districts also see better literacy when children switch to cued speech, with hearing devices.
Studies published in 2010 show cued speech to improve speech perception, lipreading and English-first language development in children with cochlear implants – plus the literacy benefits of one language for reading and writing.
Literacy levels in certain students in Illinois (US) were reported to improve one to two grade-levels in a school year, when cued speech was introduced.
Cued speech is not for everyone, but it should be reviewed with other options.