Language Outcomes in Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: The Role of Language Ability Before Hearing Aid Intervention Purpose Early auditory experiences are fundamental in infant language acquisition. Research consistently demonstrates the benefits of early intervention (i.e., hearing aids) to language outcomes in children who are deaf and hard of hearing. The nature of these benefits and their relation with prefitting development are, however, not well understood. ... Research Note
Research Note  |   November 09, 2017
Language Outcomes in Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: The Role of Language Ability Before Hearing Aid Intervention
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Olivia Daub
    Graduate Program in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
  • Marlene P. Bagatto
    National Centre for Audiology, The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
  • Andrew M. Johnson
    School of Health Studies, The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
  • Janis Oram Cardy
    School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Janis Oram Cardy: janis.cardy@uwo.ca
  • Editor: Sean Redmond
    Editor: Sean Redmond×
  • Associate Editor: Mary Pat Moeller
    Associate Editor: Mary Pat Moeller×
Article Information
Development / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Note
Research Note   |   November 09, 2017
Language Outcomes in Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: The Role of Language Ability Before Hearing Aid Intervention
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, November 2017, Vol. 60, 3310-3320. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0222
History: Received June 9, 2016 , Revised October 20, 2016 , Accepted June 16, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, November 2017, Vol. 60, 3310-3320. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0222
History: Received June 9, 2016; Revised October 20, 2016; Accepted June 16, 2017

Purpose Early auditory experiences are fundamental in infant language acquisition. Research consistently demonstrates the benefits of early intervention (i.e., hearing aids) to language outcomes in children who are deaf and hard of hearing. The nature of these benefits and their relation with prefitting development are, however, not well understood.

Method This study examined Ontario Infant Hearing Program birth cohorts to explore predictors of performance on the Preschool Language Scale–Fourth Edition at the time of (N = 47) and after (N = 19) initial hearing aid intervention.

Results Regression analyses revealed that, before the hearing aid fitting, severity of hearing loss negatively predicted 19% and 10% of the variance in auditory comprehension and expressive communication, respectively. After hearing aid fitting, children's standard scores on language measures remained stable, but they made significant improvement in their progress values, which represent individual skills acquired on the test, rather than standing relative to same-age peers. Magnitude of change in progress values was predicted by a negative interaction of prefitting language ability and severity of hearing loss for the Auditory Comprehension scale.

Conclusions These findings highlight the importance of considering a child's prefitting language ability in interpreting eventual language outcomes. Possible mechanisms of hearing aid benefit are discussed.

Supplemental Materials https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.5538868

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services.
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