Parent-implemented communication treatment for infants and toddlers with hearing loss: A randomized pilot trial

Megan Y. Roberts*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Despite advances in cochlear implant and hearing aid technology, many children with hearing loss continue to exhibit poorer language skills than their hearing peers. This randomized pilot trial tested the effects of a parent-implemented communication treatment targeting prelinguistic communication skills in infants and toddlers with hearing loss. Method: Participants included 19 children between 6 and 24 months of age with moderate to profound, bilateral hearing loss. Children were randomly assigned to the parent-implemented communication treatment group or a “usual care” control group. Parents and children participated in 26, hour-long home sessions in which parents were taught to use communication support strategies. The primary outcome measures were the Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales (Wetherby & Prizant, 2003), a measure of child prelinguistic skills, and parental use of communication support strategies during a naturalistic play session. Results: Parents in the treatment group increased their use of communication support strategies by 17%. Children in the treatment group made statistically significant more gains in speech prelinguistic skills (d =1.09, p=.03) as compared with the control group. There were no statistically significant differences in social and symbolic prelinguistic skills; however, the effect sizes were large (d =0.78, p=.08; d=0.91, p=.10). Conclusions: This study provides modest preliminary support for the short-term effects of a parent-implemented communication treatment for children with hearing loss. Parents learned communication support strategies that subsequently impacted child prelinguistic skills. Although these results appear promising, the sample size is very small. Future research should include a larger clinical trial and child-level predictors of response to treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-152
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume62
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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