Is lipreading always natural for deaf children, or is it a skill that can be taught to deaf children? An About.com visitor told me that her deaf children were not taught to lipread when they were little. She was told her children would pick it up on their own, and the focus should be on listening and making use of their residual hearing. Plus, today "Deaf and hard of hearing students who are educated to communicate orally are trained to use their residual hearing with hearing aids and implants, and are not taught to speechread."
This has me bewildered. Isn't lipreading an essential communication skill for a deaf person, especially an oral deaf person? I can not begin to imagine how difficult communication would be for me if I could not read lips, especially on the job. When a deaf or hard of hearing person has hearing aids or a cochlear implant, combining lipreading with sound enables them to make more sense out of what they are hearing. When there is no sound and no sign language, lipreading is the only avenue left aside from written communication. Sometimes it is faster to read lips than it is to write to each other via notepad on the computer.
I can not remember anymore but I think I was taught how to read lips in speech therapy as a child.