VALIDATING THROUGH PARENT REPORT
Validating through-parent report. After the fitting of amplification in newborns who are deaf or hard of hearing, audiologists rely upon parent report to determine whether amplification fitting is appropriate, because there are currently no behavioral or physiological validation protocols. The data is not immediate and is not specific to the actual fitting of the amplification but provides information about auditory development.
Additionally, the parent questionnaires have items which assess detection of sound, identification of words, and comprehension of language, but few items on auditory discrimination, the hallmark for validation of hearing aid fitting (Meagher et al., 2014). It is possible that these parent questionnaires can be improved to include additional items on auditory discrimination by adapting the Cottage Acquisition Scales for Listening, Language & Speech (CASLLS) (Wilkes, 1999) for phoneme imitation.
Production is not identical to perception, but parents will be more accurate and reliable on reports of their child’s speech production than perception. Initial research by our laboratory on these questionnaires indicates that children who are deaf or hard of hearing do not show growth between the ages of 27 and 33 months of age on the Auditory Skills Checklist (Meinzen-Derr et al., 2007) probably because of the lack of discrimination items (Meagher, 2014).
Parent questionnaires of auditory development lack data on children with normal hearing, as well as information about the relationship with hearing status, age of amplification fit, and age of early intervention start. This project will provide normative data from infants/toddlers with normal hearing and those who are deaf or hard of hearing (Inacker et al., 2003; Meinzen-Derr et al., 2007). Although we hypothesize that parent questionnaires are not a good validation procedure for hearing aid fitting or cochlear implant mapping, they can be improved to be better indices of auditory development after amplification fitting. Progress monitoring of auditory development is a critical component of the evaluation of hearing aid fitting.