Communication Between Deaf Children and Their Hearing Mothers The Role of Language, Gesture, and Vocalizations Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 1998
Communication Between Deaf Children and Their Hearing Mothers
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Amy R. Lederberg
    Georgia State University
  • Victoria S. Everhart
    Texas School for the Deaf, Austin
  • Contact author: Amy R. Lederberg, Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303. Email: alederberg@gsu.edu
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 1998
Communication Between Deaf Children and Their Hearing Mothers
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1998, Vol. 41, 887-899. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4104.887
History: Received July 1, 1996 , Accepted November 4, 1997
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1998, Vol. 41, 887-899. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4104.887
History: Received July 1, 1996; Accepted November 4, 1997

In the present longitudinal study, 20 deaf and 20 hearing children were observed during free play with their hearing mothers when the children were 22 months and 3 years of age. Compared to hearing children, deaf children were severely language delayed, with deaf 3-year-olds using less language (speech or sign) than hearing 22-month-olds. Deaf children communicated primarily through nonlinguistic vocalizations, with increasing use of gesture from 22 months to 3 years of age. Although mothers of deaf children used more visual communication than mothers of hearing children, they still primarily communicated through speech. In addition, deaf children did not visually attend to much of their mothers' communication. Therefore, deaf children received much less communication than hearing children. These results suggest that intervention efforts should be focused on increasing the quantity of perceived linguistic input by the child.

Acknowledgments
This research was partially supported by grants from the Office of Special Education ($265,035, or 76% of total cost) and the March of Dimes Foundation to the first author. The authors wish to thank Lisa Binz McGoven and Martha Kenny-Marks, for their assistance in data collection and coding, and the mothers, children, and parent advisors that made this study possible. Portions of this paper were presented at the 1993 meetings of the American Educational Research Association, held in Atlanta, GA.
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