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Achieving Success - First-hand accounts of CS use

This section is designed to share with you first-hand accounts from parent's and professionals who have used CS, and personal stories, written to illustrate the benefits that the use of CS has had on individuals.  The accounts below are the property of the writers and were constructed with you in mind, sharing the struggles and triumphs experienced and the unique successes achieved when using Cued Speech.

The right to language:

The achievements of a boy with no hearing until he was 2 ½ and then very poor hearing through his cochlear implant, who, despite this, went on to develop advanced literacy, good speech and good listening skills.  His parents’ aims were to give him the advantages of learning both English - fully, as a toddler and as a first language - and BSL.  They wrote this because they believe that it’s the right of all deaf children to have full access to language and education and that parents shouldn’t have to struggle, as they did, to achieve this.

Cued Speech has allowed our son to understand English fully, despite having no hearing. It has been hard work, but being able to stop him having a tantrum by explaining to him, in English, that he can go and play in the sand after we’ve found his buggy and changed his nappy, so why doesn’t he come and help me find his buggy? … Or that he will be able to have his biscuit as soon as I have put the shopping in the car and got him in his car seat … is worth everything!’

Read the full story, here >>


An Open Letter to Teachers of the Deaf:

An open letter about language and literacy to a Teacher of the Deaf who is unfamiliar with Cued Speech (CS).
By Cate Calder

Let me introduce myself, my name is Cate Calder. I was a sign language interpreter originally, but for the last 9 years I have worked for the Cued Speech Association UK. Personally, learning Cued Speech and understanding its remarkable and positive impact on deaf children changed my professional life completely.

The key thing to understand about CS is that although on one hand it is just a simple lip-reading tool (and not 'another language' for the child to learn) this simple system has an extraordinary impact on what really matters, and that is the child's ability to think in a full and fluent language. I have worked in the field of deafness for 24 years and I have never found another way of representing spoken language (English in this case) in such a way that deaf children can easily absorb and master it in the way CS does, regardless of their level of hearing loss.

To read the complete open letter, click here >>

Cued Speech, cochlear implants and astonishing literacy levels.
A parent’s story of a profoundly deaf three year old:

BSL is a beautiful language that I would love to become fully proficient in, but like any language it takes time and exposure to it to become fluent. With my little baby changing in front of my eyes daily I realised that if I hoped to give him a full language, time was not on my hands and I desperately searched the internet for additional ideas.  It wasn’t long before I chanced upon Cued Speech. It seemed to be offering me everything I wanted for my son, my family and myself.

To read this story, click here >>


Cued Speech Association Director and mother of profoundly deaf sons, explains the possible outcomes of Cued Speech use, from a personal, first-hand perspective:

The results will vary according to the use.  It will not give deaf children a full understanding of the whole of the English language if it is used for only a few hours a week.  Also although it can be invaluable for phonics lessons, if it’s only used for phonics then that’s where the deaf child’s understanding will stop.  The use of Cued Speech to deliver whole language early and consistently should not be confused with its intermittent use at an older age or its use on a non-language level – these will give different outcomes. 

To read Anne's advice, click here >>


Associate Professor of Psychology at Galladet University, Dr. Daniel Koo was exposed to Cued Speech at a late stage.  Read his account of how Cued Speech set him on a path to academic success and personal fulfilment:

The moment I was exposed to Cued Speech was the beginning of my linguistic and academic success. During the course of my fifth grade school year, my reading performance jumped from C’s in below-grade level classes to B’s and A’s in on-grade level courses.  Since then, I have consistently maintained that level of performance in my language development.  My vocabulary has expanded, and English has become an internalised language - a foundation waiting to be built on throughout the lifeline of my daily and academic experience.

To read the full account, click here >>

The parent of an 11 year old profoundly deaf child with a cochlear implant:

 Alex is now 11 and he was diagnosed just after his 5th birthday with bilateral profound deafness and has had a cochlear implant for nearly six years. Having struggled with Sign Supported English and getting nowhere fast, I started researching alternatives and fell across Cued Speech. Cued Speech makes complete sense to me as it gives deaf children access to full speech sounds. The main reason I learnt to cue was to help Alex with literacy. However, I soon found that it helped him with lip reading and was really useful for communicating with Alex when background sound meant he couldn't make sense of sound with his implant.

To read the full account, click here >>

Charlotte Lynch, a Teacher of the Deaf in Devon, explains how one implanted little girl has benefited from Cued Speech:

A-J is 7 years old, and has a cochlear implant. She attends her local school in Devon. She was implanted at the age of 18 months and although she was hearing sounds across the frequency range at 30-40dB, she did not make the expected progress with her speaking and listening skills in the four years post-implant. It became apparent that there were underlying difficulties hindering her progress. Following investigations and assessments, a language disorder was diagnosed at the age of 6.

To read the full account, and see a video interview with Charlotte, click here >>


Diagnosed at 11 months, Alexandra struggled until Cued Speech gave her access to all the benefits of her cochlear implantation.  Her mother explains:

We discovered Cued Speech by accident. The method seemed thoroughly logical and the anecdotal evidence offered renewed hope to prospects which were looking increasingly bleak. The principles of cueing were relatively easy to learn although it took at least 4 months before sufficient fluency was gained to make it possible to cue everything.  Alexandra's progress was remarkable. Within 3 months she had doubled her vocabulary, and after around 8 months she said her first sentence: "Mummy got a yellow coat”.

To read the full account, click here >>


X, now seven years old, has achieved age-appropriate readinf in her native French tongue as well as basic English, through a combination of good audiological support and unambiguous access to both spoken languages through Cued Speech:

X is tri-lingual and adapts her language to the person she is with. I watch her signing with deaf children and see the skills of a natural signer – spatial awareness, expression, fluidity, intensity etc. At home however, she prefers English, clarified by Cued Speech, especially for bedtime stories. Despite her deafness she has a strong auditory memory and loves to find rhyming words. She is also an excellent lip-reader and likes to play guessing games with us – mouthing sentences and we all have to guess and take turns. Of course X wins hands down.

For the full story, click here >>

For another video story, featuring mother, Lel, and her deaf child, click here >>