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Several important questions confront educators as they consider whether and how to provide special services students with special abilities combined with their disabilities:
1. What kind of abilities or talents should be recognized?
2. What effect does a handicap have on the development of intellectual ability?
3. How can we spot these abilities in a child whose handicap masks her talent?
4. How much emphasis should be placed on remediating disabilities and how much emphasis on developing strengths?
In addition to these general questions, educators of hearing-impaired children also face some more specific ones unique to this group of students:
1. What intellectual abilities or talents will be evident in hearing-impaired students?
2. What are the best nonverbal indicators of intelligence?
3. How does a hearing impairment mask a child's expression of talent?
To establish educational programs that will develop the talents of hearing-impaired students, we must first establish the fact that these students can be gifted and change the tendency to lower one's expectations for their intellectual performance. Next, we must seriously consider the issues, learn about the promising practices available, try some new approaches, and finally, ask more questions.