Service Provision for Children Who Are Hard of Hearing at Preschool and Elementary School Ages Purpose To characterize preschool and school services for children who are hard of hearing (CHH), we described service setting, amount, and configuration and analyzed the relationship between service receipt and student hearing levels and language scores. Characteristics of professionals providing services were described and then used to predict level of ... Research Article
Newly Published
Research Article  |   October 03, 2018
Service Provision for Children Who Are Hard of Hearing at Preschool and Elementary School Ages
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Thomas A. Page
    Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Melody Harrison
    Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Mary Pat Moeller
    Center for Childhood Deafness, Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • Jacob Oleson
    Department of Biostatistics, The University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Richard M. Arenas
    Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
  • Meredith Spratford
    Center for Childhood Deafness, 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 Thomas A. Page: thomas_page@med.unc.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Shelley Gray
    Editor-in-Chief: Shelley Gray×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / School-Based Settings / Newly Published / Research Article
Research Article   |   October 03, 2018
Service Provision for Children Who Are Hard of Hearing at Preschool and Elementary School Ages
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2018_LSHSS-17-0145
History: Received December 8, 2017 , Revised February 20, 2018 , Accepted May 11, 2018
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2018_LSHSS-17-0145
History: Received December 8, 2017; Revised February 20, 2018; Accepted May 11, 2018

Purpose To characterize preschool and school services for children who are hard of hearing (CHH), we described service setting, amount, and configuration and analyzed the relationship between service receipt and student hearing levels and language scores. Characteristics of professionals providing services were described and then used to predict level of comfort with skills supporting listening and spoken language. The amount of provider communication with children's audiologists was also investigated.

Method Participants included parents of CHH (preschool n = 174; school n = 155) and professionals (preschool n = 133; school n = 104) who completed interviews and questionnaires as part of a longitudinal study. Children's hearing, speech, and language data were collected from annual testing and analyzed in relation to service data.

Results A majority (81%) of preschool-age CHH received services. Children were more likely to be in a preschool for children who are deaf or hard of hearing (CDHH) or exceptional children than a general education preschool. By elementary school, 70% received services, nearly all in general education settings. Sessions averaged twice a week for a total of approximately 90 min. Children who no longer received services performed significantly better on speech/language measures than those who received services, regardless of service setting. Professionals were primarily speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and teachers of CDHH. SLPs reported significantly less comfort with skills involving auditory development and hearing technologies and less frequent communication with the child's audiologists than teachers of CDHH. Overall communication with audiologists was more frequent in the preschool years.

Conclusions As preschool-age CHH transition into school, the majority continue to qualify for services. Congruent with national trends, school-age CHH in the Outcomes of Children with Hearing Loss study were most often in general education settings. Without specialized preprofessional or postgraduate training, SLPs and teachers of CDHH did not report comfort with all the skills critical to developing listening and spoken language. This finding supports the need for increased implementation of interprofessional practice among SLPs and teachers of CDHH, as well as audiologists, to best meet the needs unique to this population.

Acknowledgments
The authors have no financial relationships relevant to this article to disclose. This work was supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant 5 R01DC009560 awarded to the University of Iowa (co-PIs: J. Bruce Tomblin [University of Iowa] and Mary Pat Moeller [Boys Town National Research Hospital]). 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 are grateful to each of the families and professionals who participated in this study, as well as Barbara Peterson, who conducted the family interviews.
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