The landscape of service provision for young children with hearing loss has shifted in recent years as a result of newborn hearing screening and the early provision of interventions, including hearing technologies. It is expected that early service provision will minimize or prevent linguistic delays that typically accompany untreated permanent childhood hearing loss. The post-newborn hearing screening era has seen a resurgence of interest in empirically examining the outcomes of children with hearing loss to determine if service innovations have resulted in expected improvements in children's functioning. The Outcomes of Children with Hearing Loss (OCHL) project was among these recent research efforts, and this introductory article provides background in the form of literature review and theoretical discussion to support the goals of the study. The Outcomes of Children with Hearing Loss project was designed to examine the language and auditory outcomes of infants and preschool-age children with permanent, bilateral, mild-to-severe hearing loss, and to identify factors that moderate the relationship between hearing loss and longitudinal outcomes. The authors propose that children who are hard of hearing experience limitations in access to linguistic input, which lead to a decrease in uptake of language exposure and an overall reduction in linguistic experience. The authors explore this hypothesis in relation to three primary factors that are proposed to influence children's access to linguistic input: aided audibility, duration and consistency of hearing aid use, and characteristics of caregiver input.
- Children who are hard of hearing
- Cumulative linguistic experience
- Inconsistent access
- Protective factors
- Risk factors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Speech and Hearing