'Optimal EHDI Outcomes: What's Missing'

Because of the lack of language assessment tools for the analysis of pragmatic language skills, very little is known about very young children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their pragmatic language development. Additionally, there is a paucity of information about the impact of pragmatic language characteristics of adult interactors in child-directed communication to infants/toddlers and young children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Even when children have developed age-appropriate vocabulary, English grammar and syntax skills, and speech articulation skills, they may still struggle with the socially appropriate use and understanding of language. This session will provide longitudinal information about 126 children with hearing loss from 3 to 7 years of age and cross-sectional data from 100 children with normal hearing between the ages of 2 to 7 years. The pragmatic language development from over 480 developmental checklists will be presented. The information will be presented in the following pragmatic categories: States Needs, Gives Commands, Personal/Expresses Feelings, Interactional, Wants Explanation, Shares Knowledge and Imagination. The parent and/or teacher respond to the parent questionnaire rating each of the 53 items as: Not present; Uses no words (Preverbal); Uses 1-3 words; and More complex language. Data will be presented on the pragmatic language development of children by age and degree of hearing loss. The presentation will focus on the age of mastery of children with normal hearing as compared to children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Implications of this information for parents and early intervention providers will be discussed. The presentation will also include information about the relationship of parent talk, from birth through 3 years, to language outcomes at 7 years of age for 134 children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

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Christine Yoshinaga-Itano

Marion Downs Hearing Center, Institute of Cognitive Science

Dr. Christine Yoshinaga-Itano is a Professor of Audiology in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, at the University of Colorado - Boulder, the Department of Otolaryngology and Audiology at the University of Colorado – Denver, and the Marion Downs Hearing Center. She has conducted research in the areas of language, speech, and social-emotional development of deaf and hard-of-hearing infants and children for over 30 years. Her current research focuses on the impact of early identification and early intervention on the developmental outcomes of children with hearing loss. Dr. Yoshinaga-Itano has assisted many state departments of education and public health agencies, schools for the deaf and blind, and early intervention programs throughout the United States and its territories. In addition, she has served as a consultant for many countries currently developing their early hearing detection and intervention programs.

Opening Plenary
Grand Ballrom D,E,F
Monday March 5, 2012
8:15 AM - 9:15 AM