Aural rehabilitation for deaf children (hearing loss > 90 dB) has been established since World War II. Many developed countries such as USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Australia have famous institutes providing aural rehabilitation for these children so that they are able to communicate with other people in the hearing society. Teaching programs include auditory training, speech stimulation, speech correction and developing language skills by using natural conversation and real models.
In Thailand, the most common mode of communication for deaf children is total communication which focuses on sign language, thus, limiting the ability to communicate with other people. With the realization of this problem, the preschool program for deaf children was set up in 1993 by an audiologist and a speech pathologist at the speech and hearing clinic, Department of Otolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University. A study of 31 deaf children with the average better ear hearing threshold of 103 dB (103.5 + 7.01), who visited the program regularly showed that it took an average of 277 days or approximately 9 months (9.25 + 4.1) after hearing aid fitting, in acquiring spontaneous meaningful single words or 638 days or approximately 21 months (21.3 + 4.3) in acquiring simple conversation or sentences of more than three words. The limitation and problems of the program will be discussed.
Keyword : Aural rehabilitation, Deaf children