Date of Award

2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Department

Speech-Language Pathology

First Advisor

Madhu Sundarrajan

First Committee Member

Jeannene Ward-Lonergan

Second Committee Member

Benjamin Reece

Abstract

Due to gaps in literature exploring communication outcomes in Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) children with access to more than one spoken language, limited agreement on optimal language use for DHH children, and an ongoing cultural and linguistic loss in this population, the aim of this pilot study was to further the literature and comprehensively explore the impact of oral bilingualism in DHH children. Participants were self-selected and recruited primarily through relevant social media. Speech and language development in children were observed and quantified at two time points (at the time of enrollment into the study and subsequently after 3-4 months of initial assessment), through administration of standardized questionnaires and twenty minutes of conversational play language samples between the parent and child. Specific language constructs such as the mean length utterance, number of total words, number of different words, and rate of spoken words per minute were analyzed. Speech production skills were assessed by identifying the sounds the child was able to produce during the conversational play sample to compare to monolingual norms. The data from the five case studies presented in this paper indicated that DHH children with access to more than one language were able to develop language skills on par with their typical hearing peers when factors such as early acoustic access, linguistically rich environment, and active parent advocacy were present.

Pages

64

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