Oral is NOT:
- Throwing hearing aids on a child and expecting them to be hearing.
- Putting a child in a mainstream school and expecting them to lipread all day.
- Doing nothing.
- Always managing amplification and insuring the best possible hearing.
- Actively teaching a child to learn to listen and understand the things they are hearing.
- Always monitoring all aspects of the child's language (receptive language, expressive language, auditory skills, and articulation) AND overall development, including social and emotional well being.
- Insuring that the child is always making adequate progress in all the areas of language (adequate being GREATER than one year's progress in one year)
- Always insuring that the child has access to well trained professionals in speech, language, education and audiology.
- Insuring that the child has access to and immersion in fluent, colorful, expressive spoken language.
- Insuring that the child has access to role models and peers that share their language.
People have asked me why I am ok with parents choosing oral only. And while I do advocate for both, it is true that I support parents who choose to do listening and spoken language only. The reason? Because it can be amazingly successful. I have seen many dedicated parents with children who grow up happy and do wonderfully. Why? Because they actually DO raise their child orally.
So, I'm asking, please do not lump irresponsibility in with oralism. They aren't even close to the same thing.