This study investigated differences in the phonological awareness, reading and spelling skills of Aboriginal children with and without, otitis media with effusion (OME) and conductive hearing loss. Participants were nine year 1 Aboriginal children with evidence of recent OME and ten control participants matched for grade level, socioeconomic status and Aboriginality. Four sub-tests of phonological awareness, the 10 Word Developmental Spelling Test and Freebody and Byrne's reading lists were administered to the children. Results indicated that OME and associated hearing loss during the early school years has a deleterious effect on the development of phonological awareness, and reading and spelling performance of urban Aboriginal children in year one. Correlational analyses indicated that phoneme segmentation had the strongest correlation with reading and spelling performance. It is recommended that hearing screening programs involving the diagnostic triad of otoscopy, tympanometry and audiometry be implemented in schools of high Aboriginal enrolment to ensure early diagnosis. This would allow the educational needs of the students to be better catered for. The results of this study lend support to initiatives by educational authorities to raise awareness of the educational implications of OME and associated conductive hearing loss.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Australian Journal of Audiology|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|