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Improving Language Skills of Children with Hearing Loss

How Parents Can Help Their Child With Hearing Loss Develop Strong Language Skills

ASHA Members Will Discuss Research And Implications During 2011 ASHA Convention in San Diego
child language development
Rockville, MD: Recent research has indicated that hard of hearing toddlers whose mothers talked to them more tended to understand language better than toddlers who were spoken to less, according to researchers who will be presenting their findings this week during the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Annual Convention in San Diego.

According to ASHA member Sophie Ambrose and her co-presenters Mark VanDam and Mary Pat Moeller, all from Boys Town National Research Hospital in Omaha, the research shows that quantity of communication matters for hard of hearing children. Children whose parents engaged them in more conversations were likely to have stronger language skills than toddlers whose parents engaged them in fewer conversations.

Previous research has indicated that to promote parent–child conversations and to otherwise facilitate the language development of toddlers with hearing loss, parents should use speech that is child-friendly, such as short, simple sentences, and talk about things of interest to the child.

"Parents can also increase the possibility that their young child with hearing loss will develop strong language skills by keeping television and other electronic media use to a minimum," Ambrose says. "Our study shows that toddlers from homes where the TV was turned on often demonstrated weaker language skills than toddlers from homes with less TV viewing."

The researchers discussed their findings in a presentation entitled: The Impact of Exposure to Talk and Television on the Language Development of Toddlers With Hearing Loss.  Their presentation was part of ASHA's Annual Convention, which began November 17 at the San Diego Convention Center. The Convention featured 3 days of workshops, paper sessions, poster presentations, and the Keynote Session by Jill Bolte Taylor, author of the best-selling book, My Stroke of Insight.

Source: ASHA News

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