Factors affecting early services for children who are hard of hearing

Melody Harrison, Thomas A. Page, Jacob Oleson, Meredith Spratford, Lauren Unflat Berry, Barbara Peterson, Anne Welhaven, Richard M. Arenas, Mary Pat Moeller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Purpose: To describe factors affecting early intervention (EI) for children who are hard of hearing, we analyzed (a) service setting(s) and the relationship of setting to families’ frequency of participation, and (b) provider preparation, caseload composition, and experience in relation to comfort with skills that support spoken language for children who are deaf and hard of hearing (CDHH). Method: Participants included 122 EI professionals who completed an online questionnaire annually and 131 parents who participated in annual telephone interviews. Results: Most families received EI in the home. Family participation in this setting was significantly higher than in services provided elsewhere. EI professionals were primarily teachers of CDHH or speech-language pathologists. Caseload composition was correlated moderately to strongly with most provider comfort levels. Level of preparation to support spoken language weakly to moderately correlated with provider comfort with 18 specific skills. Conclusions: Results suggest family involvement is highest when EI is home-based, which supports the need for EI in the home whenever possible. Access to hands-on experience with this population, reflected in a high percentage of CDHH on providers’ current caseloads, contributed to professional comfort. Specialized preparation made a modest contribution to comfort level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-30
Number of pages15
JournalLanguage, speech, and hearing services in schools
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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