- Course Code
The 2023 ITOD Conference was held on Friday 27 October at the Australian Hearing Hub at Macquarie University.
Program is now available from this link: Program
Keynote featuring Dr Fiona Kyle:
Explaining spoken language variation in DHH – predictors and screeners
Despite advances in hearing aid technology and cochlear implants, there is still considerable variation in spoken language outcomes for deaf and hard of hearing children (DHH). To support DHH children to achieve good spoken language outcomes, we need to (1) understand more about the underlying causes of this variation, and (2) identity early those DHH children who may develop language difficulties. I will present data from two recent studies in which we attempt to address these issues. I will begin by discussing the results of our recent study investigating pre-implant predictors of post-implant language in a group of DHH with cochlear implants. Using a retrospective case analysis design, we found that pre-implant social communication skills were associated with post-implant spoken language outcomes four years later. I will then present data from on ongoing study examining the efficacy of the Grammar and Phonology Screening Test (GAPS) to identify spoken language difficulties in DHH children. The GAPS was designed to be administered by teachers and other practitioners with hearing children. Our results suggest it has high sensitivity and specificity as a screener of grammatical difficulties in preschool DHH children. Results from both of these studies will be discussed within a wider framework arguing for the importance of early language support and intervention for DHH children.