Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech: Emphasis in Speech Pathology/Audiology






Lipreading, Deaf -- Education



Physical Description

1 online resource (3, v, 57 l. ill. 28 cm.)


In order for the hearing handicapped child to derive maximum benefit of language acquisition through maturation, a method of receptive communication is essential at the earliest age possible. It is felt that speechreading is this method. The need for a method of training speechreading cues to prelingual, aurally handicapped children is based on the fact that most visual speechreading methods require the use of language. If speechreading can be regarded as a learning process involving the discrimination of visual cues that maybe disassociated from language expression then training the child to discriminate various facial expressions may actually enhance speech-reading ability. If such a training method proved to be highly connected with speechreading learning, then it also might prove useful in helping the deaf pre-school child acquire the necessary attentive and discriminitive behaviors consistent with speechreading.

Ten pre-school, normal hearing children participated in an oral-gestural training program which was carried out in three parts: 1) Administration of the revised Children's Speechreading Test, 2) Training for discrimination of oral-gestural pairs as "same" or "different" until a 100 percent correct response criterion had been obtained, 3) Evaluation of the oral-gestural training through readministration of the revised Children's Speechreading Test.

A t-test of the difference between the baseline mean and post training speechreading mean revealed significance beyond the .05 level of confidence. This supported the original proposal that speechreading skills for propositional words can be acquired by means of visual discrimination training in oral-facial movements.

It is thus proposed that such training will prove useful in helping the hearing handicapped preschool child acquire the necessary behaviors consistent with speechreadlng, namely attention and visual discrimination.

This study involved normal hearing subjects in which language was already established. Since the Oral-Gestural Training program is designed for the hearing handicapped prelingual child, further investigation with such a population appears necessary to confirm the findings of this investigation. Other questions that arose during the study such as sex and age differences of a larger sample, and the significance of the number of oral-gestural training sessions as related to the post-training test score, are other related areas that need consideration before a final conclusion can be drawn. Although no formal data was obtained on attention span, it was observed subjectively that this capacity improved markedly among these subjects. This is a clinical observation and should be subjected to further investigation. In conclusion, it appears through the findings of this study, that such a training method may be highly related with speechreading training and may indeed prove useful in helping prelingual, aurally handicapped children acquire the necessary behaviors consistent with speechreading.


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