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We do use phonics — and phonological awareness. Our pediatric audiologists ensure the students have optimal access to auditory information from their hearing aids and/or cochlear implants. We teach our children to read using all of the same methods, strategies and curricula used to teach hearing children to read.

Like all children, children with hearing loss require explicit instruction to learn to confidently decode the letters representing the speech sounds. This method of instruction is commonly referred to as phonics — that is, matching the sounds of speech with combinations of written letters. Eventually, children begin to combine their spoken language knowledge with new phonics skills and are on a path to becoming fluent decoders and readers.

Success in phonics, comprehension and writing — shown critical to achieving fluency — are the goals of CID’s literacy program. All of our teachers use the phonics-based SPIRE curriculum to help each student build the phonemic awareness and decoding skills foundational to a higher level of learning. Guided by Missouri Learning Standards, we teach reading comprehension through a variety of commercial texts, student favorites and classroom classics.