Factors Affecting Early Services for Children Who Are Hard of Hearing Purpose To describe factors affecting early intervention (EI) for children who are hard of hearing, we analyzed (a) service setting(s) and the relationship of setting to families' frequency of participation, and (b) provider preparation, caseload composition, and experience in relation to comfort with skills that support spoken language for children ... Research Article
Research Article  |   January 01, 2016
Factors Affecting Early Services for Children Who Are Hard of Hearing
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Melody Harrison
    University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Thomas A. Page
    University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Jacob Oleson
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Meredith Spratford
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • Lauren Unflat Berry
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • Barbara Peterson
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • Anne Welhaven
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Richard M. Arenas
    University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
  • Mary Pat Moeller
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Melody Harrison: melody_harrison@med.unc.edu
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Suneeti Iyer
    Associate Editor: Suneeti Iyer×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Early Identification & Intervention / Practice Management / Research Articles
Research Article   |   January 01, 2016
Factors Affecting Early Services for Children Who Are Hard of Hearing
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2016, Vol. 47, 16-30. doi:10.1044/2015_LSHSS-14-0078
History: Received August 21, 2014 , Revised January 5, 2015 , Accepted September 20, 2015
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2016, Vol. 47, 16-30. doi:10.1044/2015_LSHSS-14-0078
History: Received August 21, 2014; Revised January 5, 2015; Accepted September 20, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose To describe factors affecting early intervention (EI) for children who are hard of hearing, we analyzed (a) service setting(s) and the relationship of setting to families' frequency of participation, and (b) provider preparation, caseload composition, and experience in relation to comfort with skills that support spoken language for children who are deaf and hard of hearing (CDHH).

Method Participants included 122 EI professionals who completed an online questionnaire annually and 131 parents who participated in annual telephone interviews.

Results Most families received EI in the home. Family participation in this setting was significantly higher than in services provided elsewhere. EI professionals were primarily teachers of CDHH or speech-language pathologists. Caseload composition was correlated moderately to strongly with most provider comfort levels. Level of preparation to support spoken language weakly to moderately correlated with provider comfort with 18 specific skills.

Conclusions Results suggest family involvement is highest when EI is home-based, which supports the need for EI in the home whenever possible. Access to hands-on experience with this population, reflected in a high percentage of CDHH on providers' current caseloads, contributed to professional comfort. Specialized preparation made a modest contribution to comfort level.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant NIH/NIDCD 5 R01 DC009560-03 (awarded to J. Bruce Tomblin and Mary Pat Moeller). The authors acknowledge the support of Sophie Ambrose, who provided input on previous versions of this manuscript. Special thanks go to Marlea O'Brien for coordinating the Outcomes of Children with Hearing Loss project, as well as to the examiners at the University of Iowa, Boys Town National Research Hospital, and University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. Special thanks also go to the families and children who participated in the research.
The content of this project is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders or the National Institutes of Health. The authors have no financial relationships relevant to this article to disclose.
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