Language deprivation in deaf children

Many deaf children are being deprived of natural language acquisition in the name of oralism regardless of technologies.

While there are some deaf with cochlear implants who do well more or less, using aural-vocal modality, some others are thus deprived of their own language when they were not allowed to speak in visual modality during the first years of their lives. They are marginzalized by the oralists.

"The lower ground in this analogy is to not require ASL to be provided an option, but then it’s easy for oralist advocates to push their platform even further (eg: AGB) whereas the Deaf community has no say. Oralists already have speech training and cochlear implantation, as they are already well known options. Think of it this way, if we don’t require ASL to be provided as an option, then how is it fair for everyone?" -- Toby Fitch, 2016.

Bilingualism guarantees all deaf children with language acquisition in both languages. Some may do well with speaking English. Others may not, but write and read English on par with English speakers. Some bilinguals may be predominantly ASL speakers with excellent English literacy and some other bilinguals may be predominantly English speakers in addition to ASL.

Watch Sanjay Gulati (M.D., Harvard Medical School)'s highly valuable presentation, "Language Deprivation Syndrome".

Video description: "The single greatest risk faced by Deaf people is inadequate exposure to a usable first language. Dr. Gulati will review recent research which validates the anatomical basis and time course of the critical period for first language acquisition, and which shows the risks to the development of empathic abilities among children who are language-deprived."

Maximalizing language acquisition in the brain is a priority, regardless of which language one uses, regardless of the modality, regardless of the majority vs minority, etc. Abundant hard sciences such as linguistics and neuroscience show that ASL is as real and natural as English. ASL functions the same in the brain as English.

Related posts: What hard sciences tell you about sign language