The main principles of the Leongard Rehabilitation System

The System  «Forming and development of speech hearing and verbal communication in deaf and hard of hearing children» (Ph.D. E.I.Leongard and her colleagues).

The System assumes the researches for eliciting the conditions on which the psychic development of deaf and hard of hearing children could correspond to the psychic development of normal hearing ones. Another subjects of studing are: ways of inclusion  deaf and hard of hearing children in the society of hearing people and conditions of rehabtttation for their parents.

The basic idea of this System is the following: deaf and hard of hearing children could acquire their native language in extent which is necessary for independent communication with hearing people, for their self-development and for the acquisition of culture if their life would be organized in a certain way. Not only hard of hearing children but also the children which were deaf at the beginning of educating acquire the mother tongue in its spoken and written forms appropriately to the general laws of normal child language development. The system can be used for different languages without any limits. Social rehabilitation of hearing disabled children is so reliable that they can communicate with their hearing peers in schools without any help of interpreters in sign language.


Dr. Emily Leongard met with people who were helped by the Leonhard method (Moscow, 2023)

The System is realized in different ways: in families with hearing disabled children; in special groups of ordinary kindergartens; in special preschool institutions; in special classes of ordinary schools and in special schools for deaf and hard of hearing children.

Work with families is aimed on educating parents in raising their children and in organizing special lessons with them; on normalizing family life and professional activities of parents (especially mothers).

The team-work of parents and educators results in fact that the spoken language becomes for deaf (and hard of hearing) children as natural and necessary in communication with others and among them as for normal hearing people. Deaf and hard of hearing children perceive their own speech and the speech of hearing people not on the basis of visual perception («lip reading») but  on the basis of auditory-visual perception. It becomes possible because children use hearing-aid from the earliest childhood and take part in special lessons aimed on development of auditory perception and speech hearing. Thirty eight years of research and practical work using this Abilitation Method (involving 30,000 deaf and hard-of-hearing children) have shown that deaf children can fully develop oral skills that allow them to communicate freely and naturally, much in the same way as children with normal hearing do, both with other deaf children (without resorting to sign language) and with people of normal hearing (without turning for help to sign language interpreters). At the same time, any change in the training method (e.g. by using, at the early stages of training, dactilology and sign language) will inevitably bring about changes in assotiative brain function, resulting in a linguistic system which is different from that found in children with normal  hearing. These children are active, independent, capable of working, emotional and kind.

Children from more than 120 cities, towns and villages of Russia, from 44 settlements of Ukraine, Byelorussia, Moldavia, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Latvia, Lithuania and Uzbekistan are raised according to the System «Forming and development of speech hearing and verbal communication in deaf and hard of hearing children».

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