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J Speech Lang Hear Res. 1998 Feb;41(1):S61-84.

Treatment efficacy: hearing loss in children.

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University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455, USA.


This article provides a review of the topic of treatment efficacy for children with hearing loss. Efficacy is related to a wide range of treatment goals in the areas of sensory and perceptual skill development, language development (regardless of communication modality), speech-production skill development, academic performance, and social-emotional growth. Topics addressed in this article include (a) the definition of hearing loss in children; (b) incidence and prevalence data; (c) the effects of childhood hearing loss on daily life, including language and literacy, speech perception and production, socialization and family dynamics; (d) the role of audiologists and speech-language pathologists in managing children with hearing loss; and (e) a summary of pertinent efficacy research for children with hearing loss. The analysis of the available research suggests that (a) early intervention for children who are deaf or hard of hearing has long-term positive effects on overall development; (b) a variety of communication modalities exist for this population, and research to date has been more descriptive than prognostic on the choice of modality; (c) sensory aids (hearing aids, tactile aids, and cochlear implants) provide different degrees of benefit for children in the areas of speech perception, production, and language development, depending upon the extent of their hearing loss; (d) few studies have addressed rates of learning and long-term outcomes, but existing data suggest that enriched programs provide some children with hearing loss with the ability to overcome developmental lags in language and academic skills.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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