From ABC Family’s Switched at Birth season finale in August, which eatures a teenaged deaf character to CNN Correspondent Sanjay Guptas report on Grayson Clamp, the first child in the country to receive an auditory brainstem implant (ABI), “deafness” is a trending topic in the mainstream media these days. But there’s so much more to know.
For instance, you may not have known that Grayson Clamp, the first American child to receive the ABI, uses Cued Speech to communicate with his family. Fortunately, we had the opportunity to connect with Grayson’s mother and father, Len and Nicole Clamp, and one of the two neurosurgeons who performed the ABI, for a more in-depth story.
The theme of this issue is Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD), which, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) “is a hearing disorder in which sound enters the inner ear normally but the transmission of signals from the inner ear to the brain is impaired.” In other words, individuals diagnosed with ANSD experience difficulty perceiving speech. NIH lists ANSD as a rare disease that affects fewer than 200,000 people in the United States.
Despite its rarity, many families with children diagnosed with ANSD find Cued Speech to be an important key to communication. Lisa Weiss, the mother of a child with ANSD, wrote about the Grafe family which has two children who have ANSD. You’ll also discover that one of the most renowned experts on ANSD, Dr. Charles Berlin, supports Cued Speech “as a way of supplementing lip-reading and teaching the phonology of the home language.”
On another note, we are proud to inform you that On Cue is going mobile with the support of the NCSA’s Web and Marketing Director, Rob McIntosh. Check out the electronic version of OnCue at www.on-cue.org, which includes multimedia and additional articles not included in this print version.
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