Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

Department

Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education

First Advisor

Lauri Nelson

Abstract

Approximately 12,000, or 4-6 per 1,000 babies per year in the United States are born with some degree of hearing loss (NCHAM, 2014). Children with any degree of hearing loss are at risk for having difficulty with academics, language and communication. However, with early detection, and use of hearing technology (e.g. hearing aids and cochlear implants), and specialized early intervention, many children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) can develop language and academic proficiency at or near their same aged peers (Moeller, 2000). The development of age-appropriate literacy skills in children who are DHH is essential in establishing the foundations of academic success. Because many aspects of literacy acquisition are based on the phonemic elements of written text, appropriate supports for children with hearing loss to promote early literacy skill development will optimize growth and progress. Easterbrooks (2010) reported five main components that help children who are DHH develop emergent literacy, including, 1) parent involvement, 2) a language rich environment, 3)storybook reading, 4) a supportive classroom environment, 5) and early intervention services. Because literacy is vital to a child’s development, this proposal will describe 1) the impact of hearing loss and benefits of hearing technology 2) the importance of early intervention with children who are DHH by involving parents through storybook reading, and 3) strategies that have been developed to help facilitate language in DHH children. These include developing the skills to use acoustic highlighting, asking questions that facilitate critical thinking and promote text comprehension, and utilizing appropriate wait time after asking targeted questions so that the child has time to think and offer a response.

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