Title: 'Executive Function Profiles of Children who use Cochlear Implants '
Track: 3 - Language Acquisition and Development
Keyword(s): Executive function, cochlear implants, children
Learning Objectives:
  1. Identify the characteristics of executive function profiles of children with cochlear implants.
  2. Describe the relationship between executive function and language proficiency.


Advances in early detection, hearing technologies, and early intervention have provided children with hearing loss an unprecedented opportunity to develop age-appropriate language and academic skills. However, there remains wide variation in outcomes for children with hearing loss that is mediated by audiological and medical factors such as age at implantation, access to early intervention and presence of additional disabilities. Emerging evidence indicates that domain-general skills, such as executive function might influence development of language and academic skills in children with hearing loss. Executive function is a broad construct that plays a role in the conscious control of thought and action and develops throughout childhood. The ability to attend to tasks, inhibit responses, create and follow rules, and solve problems is attributed to executive function. In typically developing children, executive function proficiency is related with academic success. Only a few studies have examined isolated executive function skills in children with hearing loss and little is known about the executive function profiles of children with hearing loss. In this study of 7-to-16 year old children with cochlear implants who have congenital severe to profound hearing loss, we explore the relationship between executive function, language proficiency and duration of auditory experience. Subtests from the Developmental NEuroPSYchological Assessment (NEPSY-II) and Comprehensive Assessment of Spoken Language (CASL) are administered to characterize the performance of children with cochlear implants.
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Anne Marie Tharpe - Author
Vanderbilt University
     Credentials: Ph.D.
      Dr. Tharpe is Professor and Chair, Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee. Her clinical and research interests are in the area of pediatric audiology. Specifically, she is interested in the impact of hearing loss on various aspects of child development, special needs of children with multiple disabilities, and the development and assessment of hearing in infants. Dr. Tharpe has published extensively in national and international professional journals, has published a number of books and book chapters, and has spoken to over 200 audiences around the world on pediatric audiology issues.

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Uma Soman - Primary Presenter,Author

     Credentials: M.E.D., LSLS Cert. AVEd, Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences. Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232
      Uma Soman is a PhD student in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and is the recipient of the National Leadership Consortium in Sensory Disabilities Fellowship. She obtained her Masters in Education of the Deaf from the Smith College/Clarke School program, and is also certified as a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist - Auditory Verbal Educator. Uma serves as a guest lecturer and instructor in the Masters in Deaf Education program at Vanderbilt University. Her research interests focus on exploring factors and neurocognitive processes that influence language, academic and social outcomes.

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