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At the Iowa School for the Deaf, five young hearing children three years of age were integrated into the preschool program. The purpose was to study the development of total communication skills including speech and language patterns. Careful monitoring was done by teachers and parents.
As a result of the program, it was determined that the hearing students used manual communication effectively, and they also became aware of the problems of deafness. There was carry-over from school into the home and neighborhood and, further, the children learned beginning basic skills.
The use of total communication as a teaching technique was very effective for both the hearing and the hearing-impaired children. As these children progress, it will be interesting to follow them and see if they have an influence on their associations which will be beneficial to the hearing impaired. More research is planned on these children.