That hearing-impaired children "often" lag behind their hearing peers as C Sanderson suggests (TES, April 25), does not, it seems to me, support the idea that the teaching of phonics is essential to the reading process.
If hearing-impaired children eventually, at some stage, gain parity with their hearing peers then the teaching of phonics is not crucial but smooths the path to a more or less degree. Its non-inclusion does not have to mean total or even partial failure, only an extension in the time taken to achieve competency (maybe).
In recognition of this, the battle to include phonics awareness as part of the armoury the beginning reader takes with herhim into the reading struggle was won long ago but it would seem this is not enough for some.
JOHN GRIFFITHS 12 Kempton Avenue Northolt, Middlesex