Oral vs. Residential Education for the Deaf

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Despite what is commonly believed by hearing people who do not understand deaf culture, most deaf children are born to hearing parents. It can be challenging to raise a deaf child, as a hearing parent. One major decision on a parent’s plate for their deaf child is the choice of a residential or oral school to enroll their child in. Even though the students will be less exposed to deaf culture, parents of deaf children should send their kids to an oral school because they graduate with a higher reading level than kids who graduate from a residential school and learning how to assimilate with the majority of the population could help further their experience in life. One major reason for the parents of a deaf child to send their kid to an oral school over a residential school is the reading level the child will graduate with. On average, deaf adults have a reading level of only third to fifth grade. People who are deaf or hard of hearing are in no way less intelligent than anyone else, but their reading ability depends on the age which their hearing diminished. Being that English is a very oral language, people who lost their hearing before the age of three would have a hareder time learning the language than otherwise. Hearing Americans learn it by hearing it and reading is taught by sounding out the word, or phonetics (ie. Hooked on Phonics). For this reason, most Americans are dependent on their hearing to pick up the English language. A higher reading level achieved by a deaf student attending an oral school accomanies the fact than an oral education gives a child increased opportunity as he or she grows older and becomes more involved in the outside, hearing world. Considering the average hearing person’s early life, first a child is born. From here, a child picks up every sound and sight continuing when he or she is entered into kindergarten. After this, comes public education through the twelth grade and from there, a kid will usually...
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