Title: 'Strategies and Tools for Building Social-Emotional Skills in Young Children with Hearing Loss'
Track: 3 - Language Acquisition and Development
Keyword(s): explicit, problems, solutions, vocabulary, advocacy
Learning Objectives:
  1. Participants will be able to list research regarding the importance of explicitly teaching social-emotional skills in children with hearing loss ages birth to five.
  2. Participants will be able to describe why Theory of Mind is important in social-emotional skill building.
  3. Participants will be able to compare strategies for the explicit instruction of social-emotional skills.


“Hearing impaired children in mainstream school show decreasing self-confidence and mood scores with increasing age.” (Keilmann et al. 2007) This research demonstrates the need for social-emotional skill building in the foundational years of birth to five. Research also demonstrates that “Children’s social-emotional competence is often linked to language ability.” (Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000) thus putting children with hearing loss at an additional risk as they often experience lower language levels than their typically developing peers. This presentation will discuss how the explicit instruction of joint attention, conversational turn-taking, Theory of Mind, vocabulary and repair strategies relate to social-emotional development. Parents and professionals will be provided with ideas and teaching tools for children ages birth to 5 which address these areas and assist in the development of social-emotional skills. Participants will be able to associate Theory of Mind, an understanding of another’s state of mind, with its importance on the development of social-emotional skills through teaching tools such as fun social scripts and children’s literature. Specific examples such as Tucker Turtle will be demonstrated during the presentation. Children with hearing loss tend to have a limited vocabulary for expressing their own emotions or describing their own experiences, along with difficulty understanding another’s point of view. Books such as My Many Colored Days will be highlighted with accompanying activities for hands-on-learning to demonstrate how literature may be used to help children acquire appropriate language to express themselves in everyday situations such as when advocating for themselves. A problem/solutions kit and explicit instruction of social-breakdown repair strategies will also be presented. Websites that provide easy-to-access resources and videos will be demonstrated and discussed. This is meant to be a practical, hands-on presentation that provides parents and professionals with a “tool kit” to address social-emotional deficiencies in children with hearing loss.
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
Virgi Mills - Primary Presenter
     Credentials: M.E.D.
      Virgi Mills, is a Florida certified Educator and a bilateral MED-EL user who taught Pre-K children in auditory-oral programs for two years in the Alachua County Public Schools, Gainesville, FL and two years in the Duval county Public Schools, Jacksonville, FL. She is a board member of the Florida AG Bell chapter. Currently, Virgi is an Outreach Manager for MED-EL in the southeast region and counsels families in the cochlear implant journey. Virgi has presented at the Florida Summit on Early Childhood Hearing Loss, national and local Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) conferences and chapter meetings as well as college-level audiology classes. Virgi has presented on varied topics such as sharing personal insights from her journey with cochlear implants, the unique attributes of MED-EL’s cochlear implant system, the importance of promoting social-emotional skills for children with hearing loss and promoting literacy through listening and spoken language.

Financial - Receives Salary for Employment from MED-EL Corporation.  

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.