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Determining which school is the best school for hearing impaired students is a truly difficult issue, and the answer can be determined only by the student's parents. There are many different opinions on this matter, and while some people argue that deaf or hearing impaired students should be segregated out of hearing schools, others opt for inclusion with hearing students. Of course, which school is the best school depends on where the child lives and what resources each school in the area offers. When making this decision, parents should know that any decision made with thoughtfulness and good intentions can be the best choice so long as they are willing to work with their child to meet his or her needs.
Many people believe that deaf schools are the best schools for hearing impaired students. These schools are entirely focused on the success of deaf students and allow students to achieve a sense of community with other students who have similar disabilities. On the other hand, it could be argued that these schools isolate students from the hearing world and do not prepare them for adult life.
Some people hold that hearing schools with appropriate assistance are best for hearing impaired students because the student can form friendships with all sorts of people, and learning is not affected if the student is given adequate assistance in the classroom. A student might not be fully indoctrinated into deaf culture, but he or she may be better equipped to sustain lasting relationships with hearing people, which is important in many work environments. It is, however, essential to make sure that the student is performing well in school, as some schools do not have the resources to properly assist hearing impaired students.
Of course, which school is best depends on where the family lives and what the local schools are like. Sending a child to a hearing school need not mean a public school. A deaf child might do well in a small one-room Montessori schoolhouse or another type of private school. In general, choosing the best school should be determined as it would be for any child, regardless of his or her ability to hear. The best school, then, is the one where the child is happy and is provided with the most opportunities for success in life.
It is important to note that many people who are hearing impaired prefer to be called deaf, at least in part because they believe that their deafness is not an impairment. If a student's parents are not members of deaf culture, then it is important to note that deaf schools sometimes come with deaf philosophies about disability. Parents should be prepared to understand and adopt those philosophies if sending their child to a deaf school or else risk serious social difficulties when interacting with the school and its staff. In the very least, parents should understand basic aspects of deaf culture if they decide on this type of school for hearing impaired students.
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