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Unlike most schools for the deaf, CID teaches children how to listen and talk without using sign language. Instruction takes place in small classes of 2 to 5 children grouped for their ability in speech and language. Constant interaction and activities give the students practice listening and talking.

They receive direct instruction in listening, language and speech that provides repeated practice opportunities. Then they participate in lessons that enable them to integrate new skills and practice them through conversational activities. During every activity, the teacher monitors each child’s listening, speech, language and comprehension skills. Evaluation takes place during and after every lesson to assess how each student is progressing toward his or her goals, which change at the rate at which that child experiences success.