Communication Options

  • American Sign Language (ASL) – ASL is a visual language. It uses signs made by moving the hands, combined with facial expressions and body postures. Like a spoken language, ASL is a complete language with unique rules of grammar and syntax. It is an evolving language that grows and changes over time.
  • Listening and Spoken Language – Verbal communication uses listening and spoken language. This is also known as oral language.
  • Total Communication – Total Communication includes a variety of communication approaches: signed, oral/verbal, auditory, written, and visual aids. The approach usually depends on what works best for the child, the environment, and with whom the child is communicating. The sign system commonly used is “Simultaneous Communication”. This is artificially constructed, with signs from ASL in typical English word order.
  • Cued Speech – Cued speech is a visual communication system. It is not a complete language by itself. Cued speech supports spoken language by combining natural mouth movements with visual cues. Visual cues include hand shapes, movements, and placements that represent different speech sounds. Cues help people tell apart speech sounds that look the same on the lips, such as “p” and “b”, but are pronounced differently.