Title: 'Put a Stop to the 30 Million Word Gap – Begin at Birth!'
Track: 3 - Language Acquisition and Development
Keyword(s): vocabulary, acquisition, accelerated growth
Learning Objectives:
  1. Summarize the relationship between a child’s vocabulary level/age and future academic success.
  2. Describe the developmental sequence of vocabulary and its relationship to the growth of language.
  3. List multiple strategies and techniques to promote accelerated vocabulary growth during daily living activities and routines.


When parents are asked about long-term goals for their child who is deaf or hard of hearing, many will say they want their child to do well in school. According to research, a child’s vocabulary level upon entering school is one of the most critical factors in determining academic success. Infants and toddlers who are deaf and hard of hearing are at particular risk for delayed vocabulary development and subsequent learning difficulties. Although it is relatively easy for a child to learn discrete skills, such as counting and letter recognition at age five or later, fostering accelerated growth in vocabulary acquisition for the child with significant delays can be an overwhelming task. This presentation will focus on “what it takes” to ensure rapid vocabulary acquisition from birth-age three and beyond to ensure that children enter school ready to learn. Presenters will share information regarding the relationship between vocabulary development and academic success, the typical sequence of vocabulary development, the role of parents as primary teachers, and a variety of instructional strategies, techniques, and activities. During this interactive presentation, participants will view video-taped examples and engage in facilitated discussions to enhance their understanding of principles and practices needed to promote accelerated vocabulary acquisition among infants, toddlers, and children before the first day of school.
Presentation: This presentation has not yet been uploaded or the speaker has opted not to make the presentation available online.
Handouts: Handout is not Available
Kathryn Wilson - POC,Co-Presenter
Oberkotter Foundation Education Endeavor
     Credentials: M.A., CCC-SLP, LSLS, Cert. AVT
      Kathryn Wilson, is the Director of Embedded Practice of the Oberkotter Foundation educational endeavor. Kathryn served as the Director of FIRST YEARS and as Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, since 2008 - 2014. In that role, she was responsible for overseeing the online certificate program, including managing the significant mentoring component for participants earning their certificates. As Director of Embedded Practice, Kathryn champions the mentoring and coaching opportunities, primarily through the use of distance technology for the Oberkotter Learning Community.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.
Lillian Henderson - Co-Presenter
     Credentials: M.S.P., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert AVT
      Lillian Henderson, M.S.P., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert AVT earned a Master’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Speech Pathology and is a LSLS Certified Auditory Verbal Therapist. Lillian is the lead speech pathologist for the UNC Pediatric Cochlear Implant team and part of the CASTLE team. She has worked with cochlear implant recipients for the past fifteen years providing therapy and diagnostics to children who are deaf and hard of hearing learning spoken language. Lillian has also provided training to professionals and graduate students throughout the United States. She is a consultant with the Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss in Vietnam.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.