Auditory Skill Development of Toddlers with Bilateral Hearing Loss
Alison Meagher, Dr. Christine Yoshinaga-Itano, & Dr. Allison Sedey
University of Colorado at Boulder
Objective: To complete an item analysis of the ASC on toddlers with permanent bilateral hearing loss as a function of degree of hearing loss, cognitive status and maternal level of education.
Rationale: Currently there are no existing data on the auditory skill development of children ages of birth to three years with different degrees of hearing loss. While the Cincinnati Auditory Skills Checklist (ASC) has been used to describe the auditory skills of toddlers with cochlear implants, it has not been used to describe the skills of infants, toddlers and preschoolers with other degrees of hearing loss. The purpose of this study was to determine the item-by-item performance on the ASC of toddlers enrolled in the Colorado Home Intervention Program (CHIP) as a function of degree of hearing loss, cognitive status and maternal level of education. Analyzing the data with regard to these variables provide a deeper understanding of the auditory skills performance of toddlers with diagnosed hearing loss.
Method: Subjects included 200+ toddlers aged two to three years with permanent bilateral hearing loss. Performance on the 35 items of the ASC was analyzed for all subjects at each age the checklist was administered, totaling approximately 300 assessments. Comparison of item performance as a function of degree of hearing loss, cognitive status and maternal level of education were completed. Degree of hearing loss were categorized as hard of hearing, with pure-tone thresholds between mild and moderate-severe, and deaf, with pure-tone thresholds between severe, profound and no response. Cognitive status was determined using the most recent scores on the Child Development Inventory (CDI) while maternal level of education represented the highest grade completed.
Results: Descriptive statistics were employed to determine the means and standard deviation scores for each of the 35 ASC items. The relationships of degree of hearing loss, cognitive status and maternal level of education was investigated through statistical analyses, including multiple regression and repeated measures analysis. It is expected that toddlers in the deaf category, toddlers with lower cognitive scores and those whose mothers did not complete the 12th grade demonstrated the lowest performance on the ASC.
Conclusion: The results of this study described the performance of toddlers with permanent bilateral hearing loss on the ASC as a function of degree of hearing loss, cognitive status and maternal level of education. Such information provided insight into the auditory abilities of children with various degrees of diagnosed hearing loss and may also be used to tailor intervention to the hard of hearing/deaf population’s specific deficits to maximize improvement.