16th ANNUAL EARLY HEARING DETECTION & INTERVENTION MEETING
February 26-28, 2017 • Atlanta, GA

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2/27/2017  |   2:00 PM - 2:30 PM   |  To Sign or to Speak: Do I Have To Choose? Perspectives of Two Pediatricians on Early Language Access for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (D/HH) Children   |  Grand Hall B

To Sign or to Speak: Do I Have To Choose? Perspectives of Two Pediatricians on Early Language Access for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (D/HH) Children

Approximately 3/1000 infants born each year are identified to be deaf or hard of hearing (CDC data), and more than 90% of those children are born to hearing parents (https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/quick-statistics-hearing#2). Through the Program to Enhance the Health & Development of Infants and Children (PEHDIC), the AAP considers this lack of immediately accessible shared language a developmental emergency (www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/PEHDIC), and guidelines for identification and intervention are based on tight timelines in order to avoid long term language and cognitive developmental delays. Despite a growing national consensus on the importance of early identification and implementation of support services, families do not receive a universal message from health and education professionals about multiple opportunities for early language development in children who are D/HH. Anecdotal parent experiences range from being provided multiple opportunities for providing language to being actively discouraged from using certain language modalities. Discussions between parents and professionals are often limited by the professional’s experience and what is conveniently available in the family’s local school program. Without a universal message, parents are at risk of being “steered” into a single language model, which may not be an effective choice given the needs and goals unique to each individual child and family. The presenters of this workup are both pediatricians who work regularly with families of children who are D/HH. We will discuss supporting both spoken and sign language opportunities for these infants. A brief summary of current peer-reviewed published research regarding bilingualism, as well as spoken language outcomes in deaf children natively exposed to sign language will outline the pitfalls of language deprivation and comparing relative linguistic complexity of ASL and English. Real-life experiences will show how a universal message can decrease parent confusion around this topic and support children in reaching their full developmental potential and psychosocial well-being.

  • To outline the importance of supporting both spoken and sign language opportunities for infants who are d/hh
  • To increase familiarity with current peer-reviewed published research regarding bilingualism, as well as spoken language outcomes in deaf children natively exposed to sign language
  • To clarify some common misunderstandings regarding deprivational language delay and attempts to compare linguistic complexity of American Sign Language and spoken English

Presentation:
15804_5656RachelSt John.pdf

Handouts:
Handout is not Available

Transcripts:
5656.docx


Presenters/Authors

Rachel St John (), UT Southwestern Medical Center, Rachel.StJohn@UTSouthwestern.edu;
Rachel St. John is a board-certified pediatrician, and a NIC-Advanced certified sign language interpreter through RID. She received her BS degree in psychology at George Mason University, completed her MD degree at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and then jointly attended Georgetown University Hospital for her residency in pediatrics and Gallaudet University for her MA degree in counseling. Dr. St. John is the director of the Family-Focused Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children at Children’s Medical Center Dallas/UT Southwestern Medical Center. The FFC provides support for families to make informed decisions regarding their child who is deaf/hard of hearing, as well as provides education and collaborative support to providers caring for these patients in keeping with national standards. She also serves as a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Leadership Team, and the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing.

ASHA DISCLOSURE:

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.


Robert C. Nutt (), University of Rochester, robert_nutt@urmc.rochester.edu;
Dr. Robert Nutt graduated from Dartmouth College and received his medical degree from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. He served on the Newborn Hearing Screening Task Force for the New Hampshire, helping to establish the universal newborn hearing screening program in that state. Dr. Nutt completed his Pediatric Residency training followed by clinical fellowships in Academic General Pediatrics and Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Dr. Nutt has cared for families in both a primary pediatrics clinic and a developmental-behavioral pediatrics specialty clinic. He developed an ambulatory pediatric clinic that provides direct care to Deaf and hard of hearing patients and families as part of a Patient-Centered Medical Home at the University of Rochester. Dr. Nutt has been director of the Deaf Health Pathway at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, teaching medical students about caring for Deaf patients and other special populations. He serves on the Monroe County (NY) LEICC Task Force on Childhood Hearing and is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Leadership Team for Early Hearing Detection and Intervention. His life-long personal experience with hearing loss and proficiency in spoken English and American Sign Language allow him to appreciate the importance of early childhood language acquisition.

ASHA DISCLOSURE:

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - Has a Professional (EHDI Leadership Team) relationship for Volunteer membership on advisory committee or review panels.   Has a Professional (EHDI Leadership Team) relationship for Volunteer membership on advisory committee or review panels.   Has a Professional (EHDI Leadership Team) relationship for Volunteer membership on advisory committee or review panels.   Has a Professional (EHDI Leadership Team) relationship for Volunteer membership on advisory committee or review panels.