Föreläsningar och seminarier Gästseminarium: Taina Välimaa

2020-12-17 16:00 - 17:30 Add to iCal
Online Via Zoom

Early spoken language skills in children with mild to profound hearing impairment 

Deltagande via Zoom:https://ki-se.zoom.us/j/65651333793?from=addon

Early spoken language skills in children with mild to profound hearing impairment 

Adjunct Professor Taina Välimaa
Research Unit of Logopedics and Child Language Research Center,
University of Oulu


My presentation discusses early spoken language development of children with mild to profound hearing impairment (HI) who are acquiring Finnish as their native language. I will introduce results from an ongoing nationwide multicentre study on children with mild-to-severe HI who have received bilateral hearing aids (HAs), and on children with profound HI who have undergone bilateral cochlear implantation below the age of two years. The key findings of our studies indicate that vocal development, receptive and expressive vocabulary and phonological skills induce difficulties for children with HI, despite early bilateral HA fitting or bilateral implantation. I will discuss these findings in a more detail, and the factors associated with the findings. I will also discuss recent international findings. 

As background information, it is good to know that new-born hearing screening, early identification of hearing impairment (HI), early HA fitting and activation of bilateral cochlear implants (CIs) have greatly improved the development of auditory and spoken language skills in children with HI compared to the era before universal hearing screening. Despite that, HI still poses a risk for spoken language development. Since over 95% of children with HI are born to parents with normal hearing, parental expectations on spoken language development are often high. This is only natural, since spoken language often is the native language of the parents and they seldom have any knowledge on sign language. Today, we know that early language skills are associated with later language skills, social communication, reading and writing skills, and even academic skills, level of education and employment in all children with language difficulties. We know that many auditory, child-related and environmental factors may be associated with spoken language development of the children with HI. We also know that results from different languages and cultures may not be directly applicable to the language/country in question due to language-specific and cultural differences. Taken together, many factors need to be considered in intervention of children and adolescents with HI. Only this way can timely and adequate support be given to the families and the children with HI. This warrants the need for prospective longitudinal research strategies. 


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