Communication of Oral Deaf and Normally Hearing Children at 36 Months of Age Eighteen orally educated deaf and 18 normally hearing 36-month-old children were observed in a play session with their mother. Communicative behavior of the child was coded for modality and communicative function. Although the oral deaf children used a normal range of functions, both the quantity and proportions differed from normally ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1997
Communication of Oral Deaf and Normally Hearing Children at 36 Months of Age
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Johanna G. Nicholas
    Center for Applied Research in Childhood Deafness Central Institute for the Deaf St. Louis, MO
    Clinic and Research Building, Central Institute for the Deaf, 818 South Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110
  • Ann E. Geers
    Center for Applied Research in Childhood Deafness Central Institute for the Deaf St. Louis, MO
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1997
Communication of Oral Deaf and Normally Hearing Children at 36 Months of Age
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1997, Vol. 40, 1314-1327. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4006.1314
History: Received April 16, 1996 , Accepted April 18, 1997
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1997, Vol. 40, 1314-1327. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4006.1314
History: Received April 16, 1996; Accepted April 18, 1997

Eighteen orally educated deaf and 18 normally hearing 36-month-old children were observed in a play session with their mother. Communicative behavior of the child was coded for modality and communicative function. Although the oral deaf children used a normal range of functions, both the quantity and proportions differed from normally hearing children. Whereas the normally hearing 3-year-olds used speech almost exclusively, the deaf children exhibited about equal use of speech, vocalizations, and gestures. Spoken language scores of the deaf children at 5 years of age were best predicted by (a) more frequent use of speech at age 36 months, (b) more frequent use of the Statement function, and (c) relatively infrequent use of the Directive function. It is suggested that some communicative functions are more informative or heuristic than others, and that the early use of these functions is most likely to predict later language competence.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by Grant No. DC01259 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders to Central Institute for the Deaf. The authors wish to thank the following people for their assistance: Sheryl Hagg-Martino, Dawn Selover, and Betsy Gordon for videotape coding and transcription; Carolyn McManis for data entry and analysis; Michael J. Strube for statistical consultation; Nancy Tye-Murray for a helpful review of the manuscript; and the families who participated from Central Institute for the Deaf and St. Joseph’s Institute for the Deaf.
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