PRIBANIKJ, Ljubica and MILKOVIKJ, Marina (2009) THE BENEFIT OF EARLY EXPOSURE TO SIGN LANGUAGE. Journal of Special Education and Rehabilitation, 10 (3-4). pp. 28-39. ISSN 1409-6099

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Early diagnosis and intervention are now recognized as undeniable rights of deaf and hard-of-hearing children and their families. The deaf child’s family must have the opportunity to socialize with deaf children and deaf adults. The deaf child’s family must also have access to all the information on the general development of their child, and to special information on hearing impairment, communication options and linguistic development of the deaf child. The critical period hypothesis for language acquisition proposes that the outcome of language acquisition is not uniform over the lifespan but rather is best during early childhood. Individuals who learned sign language from birth performed better on linguistic and memory tasks than individuals who did not start learning sign language until after puberty. The old prejudice that the deaf child must learn the spoken language at a very young age, and that sign language can wait because it can be easily learned by any person at any age, cannot be maintained anymore. The cultural approach to deafness emphasizes three necessary components in the development of a deaf child: 1. stimulating early communication using natural sign language within the family and interacting with the Deaf community; 2. bilingual / bicultural education and 3. ensuring deaf persons’ rights to enjoy the services of high quality interpreters throughout their education from kindergarten to university. This new view of the phenomenology of deafness means that the environment needs to be changed in order to meet the deaf person’s needs, not the contrary.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Depositing User: Prof. Dr. Vladimir Trajkovski
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2015 22:13
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2015 22:13

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