As a result of the implementation of newborn hearing screening, children with congenital hearing loss are being identified within the first three months of life (JCIH, 2007). Due to this early identification, these children receive intervention services also at a younger age with the goal that they will maximize their auditory-verbal development. It is necessary for clinicians to have a means of tracking a child’s progress to ensure that the choice of intervention is yielding anticipated results. The LittlEARS Auditory Questionnaire was originally designed to assess the auditory-verbal progress of children with hearing loss ages birth to 24 months specifically for children with cochlear implants and pre-candidacy for cochlear implants, however it is now used to assess the auditory-verbal progress of all children with hearing loss ages birth to 24 months (Coninx et al., 2009).
Research within the state of Colorado has shown that early identification followed by early intervention services has been successful in preventing significant language delays (Yoshinaga-Itano, 2000; Yoshinaga-Itano, Coulter, &Thomson, 2000, Yoshinaga-Itano et al., 1998). The Colorado Home Intervention Program (CHIP) offers home-based speech and language intervention from ages birth to three years for children who are identified with hearing loss. CHIP monitors the child in 6 month assessments, in which they use parent questionnaires to determine the child’s progress (Yoshinaga-Itano, 2003). The LittlEARS Auditory Questionnaire is one of the parent questionnaires used in the CHIP assessments. LittlEARS has been shown to be a quick and easy language-independent tool that may be used to assess age-related auditory behaviors of children
While normative data exist for normal hearing children, there are currently no norms for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. This research project developed norms of children who are deaf or hard of hearing in order to have a baseline to compare to normally developing children so that we may better the intervention services offered.