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The hearing impaired student, cochlear implant user, at school: situational analysis and intervention

Grant number: 06/06862-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2007
Effective date (End): December 31, 2007
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Speech Therapy
Principal researcher:Eliane Maria Carrit Delgado-Pinheiro
Grantee:Débora Cagnoni Silva
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia e Ciências (FFC). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Marília. Marília , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The goal of the political and educational restructuring taking place in Brazil recently is to socially include students with special educational needs into the regular school community. In the context of social inclusion, the hearing impaired may come from two groups: one that communicates through the Língua Brasileira de Sinais (LIBRAS), which demands LIBRAS teachers and instructors in the very school context, and another group that is able to communicate orally, but needs environmental adjustments related to noise minimization, distance and reverberation, and the adequate behavior that introduces the student to the oral language and favors an effective communication. The developing of oral language can take place in the hearing impaired, at least in those with potential to do so, by the use of technological resources like the cochlear implant, a device that allows the individual to perceive the sounds of speech, leading to the comprehension and expression of oral communication. However, the efficiency of this device is determined not only by the therapeutical intervention that succeeds the cochlear implantation, but also by the involvement of family members and the school staff, working together for the child rehabilitation. The strong partnership between the therapeutic, family, and school staff is essential to a good school performance and social developing of the child implanted. As the student stay in the school most of the day, this particular environment can help him/her to develop language skills and eventually lead to an effective learning process. On the other hand, the school environment is full of several noise sources, distance and reverberation, factors that invisibly affect the learning process of the hearing impaired. Additionally, the oral communication in school often prevents the hearing impaired student to understand the conversation. In order to minimize the factors that make learning and communication difficult for the hearing impaired child, one should apply some simple strategies like: speaking clearly and at normal intensity, close to the child; speaking without masked noise effects; recognizing the child’s efforts to communicate; speaking about things just happening during the conversation; making simple and repetitious sentences. To consolidate a communication situation is necessary an adequate and conscious attitude from both the school staff and the classmates as well. The present study aims to contribute for the creation of an adequate communication in the school that allows the hearing impaired student, user of cochlear implant, to develop language skills and academic performance through the following objectives: verify the knowledge that educators and sound hearing classmates have on the cochlear implant users’ limitations; analyze the several possibilities for an effective communication with the hearing impaired child; plan ludical interventions that allow students and educators to comprehend the strategies that facilitate actual communication; and evaluate the consistency of this proposal through the results achieved. (AU)