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Suggested Read: ASHA Article On Language Development and Impairment in Children With Mild to Moderate Sensorineural Hearing Loss

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Suggested Read: ASHA Article On Language Development and Impairment in Children With Mild to Moderate Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Link to entire article:  https://pubs.asha.org/doi/full/10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L-16-0297

Abstract

Purpose
The goal of this study was to examine language development and factors related to language impairments in children with mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss (MMHL).  The goal of this study was to examine language development and factors related to language impairments in children with mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss (MMHL).

Method
Ninety children, aged 8–16 years (46 children with MMHL; 44 aged-matched controls), were administered a battery of standardized language assessments, including measures of phonological processing, receptive and expressive vocabulary and grammar, word and nonword reading, and parental report of communication skills. Group differences were examined after controlling for nonverbal ability.

Results
Children with MMHL performed as well as controls on receptive vocabulary and word and nonword reading. They also performed within normal limits, albeit significantly worse than controls, on expressive vocabulary, and on receptive and expressive grammar, and worse than both controls and standardized norms on phonological processing and parental report of communication skills. However, there was considerable variation in performance, with 26% showing evidence of clinically significant oral or written language impairments. Poor performance was not linked to severity of hearing loss nor age of diagnosis. Rather, outcomes were related to nonverbal ability, maternal education, and presence/absence of family history of language problems.

Conclusions
Clinically significant language impairments are not an inevitable consequence of MMHL. Risk factors appear to include lower maternal education and family history of language problems, whereas nonverbal ability may constitute a protective factor.