Total Communication as a Method of Education for Children With Disabilities Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1046 Words
Date:  2022-09-11


The number of People who are deaf or hard of hearing with other disabilities is large and diverse across the world. The disabilities range from mild that include learning disability to severe impairments that include conditions like intellectual disability and autism, or even deaf-blind (Ebrahim, 2006). Their limitations may occur due to problems arising before, during and after birth. The genetic syndrome is also a lead cause to these disabilities. In this paper, I consider a deaf child who also has cerebral palsy.

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Student's multiple disorder has impacts on the program of traditional Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) committee. This is a program specifically made for special education process meant to write a plan for a child's education. One of the significant challenges that the committee faces is trying to generating a program for the diverse group of students. Programming for different needs becomes a challenge.

For students with severe reading and developmental difficulties, implementing interventions becomes difficult as some may even refuse to work or develop power struggle with the teachers. Non-uniformity in reading levels of students in the same grade also complicates service delivery. The language barrier also limits the efforts of assisting children with multiple disorders. This mainly affects the immigrants who might not communicate in fluent English.

How the above affect service to the child

Total communication(TC) is a philosophical method of education for the deaf or people with hard of hearing disorder that makes use of various modes of communication depending on the child's specific needs and abilities. This approach uses both sign language and spoken language simultaneously to pass information. The procedure is mostly used in speech and language therapy and aims at helping the affected communicate using modes like sign language, spoken or written words or even photographs. TC aims at maximizing language development in the most effective way to an individual child. Total communication uses various approaches which include American Sign Language, finger spelling, speech, and body language amongst other methods. Children with Speech or language impairment, autism spectrum condition (ASD) and Intellectual disability among other conditions are encouraged to use a total communication approach.

Speech-language disorder covers many communication challenges. The problems associated with communication may include shuttering and impaired articulation. Voice and language impairment may also lie under this handicapping condition. Total communication enables children to understand and use spoken language.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a disability affecting mainly development. The condition affects mostly the social and communication skills of the child. The disease affects the behavior and general conduct if the child in question. Through communication passport, total communication helps children with this condition develop the ability to communicate with both familiar and unfamiliar people.

Intellectual disability is associated with below average mental ability, poor communication, self-care, and social skills. Through the application of argumentative and alternative communication techniques, the affected children can improve their intellectual capacity.

The approach ensures customized services are matching the specific needs for each user. The level of difficulties in communication varies from one person to the other. The challenges make understanding of spoken language hard. This necessitates total communication which makes use of the non-verbal communication skills the child has.

In some instances, total communication does not entirely solve communication problems. Use of the auditory-verbal approach leads to poor results in written and spoken ability tests. This ends up frustrating the affected students who prefer the use of sign language.

Total communication does not incorporate the child's cultural and linguistic needs (Connor, Hieber, Arts, & Zwolan, 2000). Also, sign language is more effective and accessible to visually impaired students. Students end up having incomplete knowledge of various components of language. The approach does not allow enough exercise time on hearing or spoken word. This may limit the child's involvement in the hearing culture. Students end up having incomplete knowledge of cultural components of language.

Deaf-blindness may lead to a child's delayed development. It is estimated that 90% of deaf and blind children are also affected by one or more health challenges. For an infant born without the sense of sight, the other organs may have reduced input, as they receive inconsistent and discrete information.

A child's main job is to play through which they develop and learn. Early learning depends on child's play and therefore getting a toy for a child is critical. Playtime provides a good environment for a child to gain skills. For blind and disabled kids, play requires some lessons. The exploratory game is the one that involves a child's interaction with objects like toys by exploration. When looking for these toys, one must look beyond the physical appearance as appearance is not significant for a visually impaired child. Toys with multi-sensory characteristics are preferred here.

An example of an appropriate toy for a developmentally delayed child and visually impaired is a Braille learning doll. It is designed like a rag doll with six buttons on its stomach. The buttons can be pressed to form a Braille letter. It has a distinctive texture that appeals to the tactile senses. By pressing the buttons, the child is engaged. As the children have fun, they end up learning Braille. This art helps the child to communicate efficiently.

Through making different patterns on the buttons, a child can learn through observation and conclusion making.

Sensory toys allow the affected children to perfect in differentiating sensory information. This perfection trains their brains to have a stronger connection with visual details. This develops the ability to make good decisions.

A deaf, 5-year-old, wheelchair-bound, the male student cannot maneuver on the playground through the sand. If the upper body can move, the child can participate in a circle game. This is an activity that involves receiving and throwing a ball in a group. A nondisabled child is matched with one with a physical disability. One child hits the shot, and the other one gets it and throws to a child who uses a wheelchair who receives, bounces and throws back.


Ebrahim, F. (2006). Comparing creative thinking abilities and reasoning ability of deaf and hearing children. Roeper Review, 28(3), 140-147.

Connor, C. M., Hieber, S., Arts, H. A., & Zwolan, T. A. (2000). Speech, vocabulary, and the education of children using cochlear implants: Oral or total communication?. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 43(5), 1185-1204.

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