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How Parents Can Help Their Child With Hearing Loss Develop Strong Language Skills

ASHA Members Will Discuss Research And Implications During 2011 ASHA Convention in San Diego

Editors: First Author Available For Interviews During And After Convention

(Rockville, MD - November 15, 2011)  

Recent research has indicated that hard of hearing toddlers whose mothers talked to them more tended to understand language better than toddlers who were spoken to less, according to researchers who will be presenting their findings this week during the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Annual Convention in San Diego.

According to ASHA member Sophie Ambrose and her co-presenters Mark VanDam and Mary Pat Moeller, all from Boys Town National Research Hospital in Omaha, the research shows that quantity of communication matters for hard of hearing children. Children whose parents engaged them in more conversations were likely to have stronger language skills than toddlers whose parents engaged them in fewer conversations.

Previous research has indicated that to promote parent–child conversations and to otherwise facilitate the language development of toddlers with hearing loss, parents should use speech that is child-friendly, such as short, simple sentences, and talk about things of interest to the child.

"Parents can also increase the possibility that their young child with hearing loss will develop strong language skills by keeping television and other electronic media use to a minimum," Ambrose says. "Our study shows that toddlers from homes where the TV was turned on often demonstrated weaker language skills than toddlers from homes with less TV viewing."

The researchers will discuss their findings at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 17, in Sails Pavilion at the San Diego Convention Center (The Impact of Exposure to Talk and Television on the Language Development of Toddlers With Hearing Loss, Session 8277, Poster Board 170).

Their presentation is part of ASHA's Annual Convention, which begins November 17 at the San Diego Convention Center. The Convention will feature 3 days of workshops, paper sessions, poster presentations, and the Keynote Session by Jill Bolte Taylor, author of the best-selling book, My Stroke of Insight. The Convention runs through Saturday, November 19.


About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 145,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems including swallowing disorders.

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