My parents chose cued speech over ASL for me because they felt it was the best way for me to grow up as normal as possible in a hearing environment and to talk and function in life. How did they discover cued speech? They read it in a sesame street magazine telling of a story of a little girl who was profoundly deaf like me and had limited speaking abilities. When she started on cued speech, immediately could talk and function normally and go to mainstream school. My parents saw me in this girl's story and wanted to try it out and it was then the same day that phone call was made by my mother and as they say the rest is history.
I lost the hearing around 16 months. I was speaking and making words and sounds but some people could not understand me. I had some residual hearing which helped a bit but not enough for me. Mom and Dad could understand me because they were attuned to how I spoke, my dialect and body language with my words. They were still frustrated I was not speaking fluently or well enough they wanted to find something to help. was not, nor did it ever help me. Once they learned of cued speech they saw how well I would be able to learn and catch up to my hearing friends.
After the phone call was made, trips were made to , and where cued speech is well-known. They attended camps and meetings, orientations and such, and finally they were ready to start with me. Immediately, within DAYS they saw results. I could now SEE visually how to say the word. I didn't need to hear it! I was seeing how the lips formed, and would mock it like babies do. If I said it right, parents would cue good or nod their head. If I didn't, they would say bad or try again and believe me it took P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E. As most know there are only 8 cues, then you go on beyond it forming it around the lip, nose, chin, side, face, outer area and throat.
Learning Cued does not mean I am able to cue myself. I am only taught to read cues and read lips. Soon in progressing plus speech therapy I was able to be fluent in speaking English. I have a speech dialect which sounds a lot like a British accent, oddly enough. Now most people LOVE British accents, which is just dandy with me so I try to play it off when I can muwahaha. However, next step was now to find a person who would be willing to become a cued speech transliterater. This did not take long at all, we would use someone who used to baby-sit me.
She flew out to to attend a cued speech camp to learn. When kindergarten rolled around, it was time to show the school they were wrong, I would be successful, and I would be able to talk, and I would not be mentally retarded. First day of school, I sat in the front row, teacher spoke to the class in a normal way, I would watch my transliterater, and read the cues and understand what was being said. When it was my turn to speak, I remembered how to say it based on what I saw and would speak it!
Schools were amazed at how well I progressed and how quickly, we obviously proved them wrong. With a bit of help, using cued and my residual hearing, I was able to speak as normal as possible. I could be understood and communicate with most of English speaking people. I succeeded well in school, making good grades, and graduated in HS with honors. I credit the success to cued speech.
Lastly, this was going to be a controversial topic. I understand that everyone does not agree with cued speech and how it is used with the Deaf and Hearing Communities. I wanted to share about my life and the choices that were made. Furthermore, to share why the choices were made by me and the parents, and to let people know the results of the choices I made. Please remember, this is my life story, I am not saying I am better then anyone else based on the actions and choices I made. Just remember that I believe I am a better person for me because of the choices I made, and that is all that matters. Thanks for reading.