Phonological awareness at 5 years of age in children who use hearing aids or cochlear implants

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    Children with hearing loss typically underachieve in reading, possibly as a result of their underdeveloped phonological skills. This study addressed the questions of whether the development of phonological awareness (PA) is influenced by 1) the degree of hearing loss; and 2) whether performance of children with severe-profound hearing loss differed according to the hearing devices used. Drawing on data collected as part of the Longitudinal Outcomes of Children with Hearing Impairment (LOCHI, study, the authors found that sound-matching scores of children with hearing loss ranging from mild to profound degrees were, on average, within the normal range. The degree of hearing loss did not have a significant impact on scores, but there was a non-significant tendency for the proportion of children who achieved zero scores to increase with increase in hearing loss. For children with severe hearing loss, there was no significant group difference in scores among children who used bilateral hearing aids, bimodal fitting (a cochlear implant and a hearing aid in contralateral ears), and bilateral cochlear implants. Although there is a need for further prospective research, professionals have an important role in targeting PA skills for rehabilitation of young children with hearing loss.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)48-59
    Number of pages12
    JournalPerspectives on hearing and hearing disorders in childhood
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015


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