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Deaf CognitionFoundations and Outcomes$
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Marc Marschark and Peter C Hauser

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195368673

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195368673.001.0001

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Changing Parameters in Deafness and Deaf Education

Changing Parameters in Deafness and Deaf Education

Greater Opportunity but Continuing Diversity

(p.24) Chapter 2 Changing Parameters in Deafness and Deaf Education
Deaf Cognition

Greg Leigh

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on two developments that will speed up change in the population profile of DHH children: early identification through universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS) and early cochlear implantation. Studies show that children identified through UNHS within the first weeks of life have superior development on a wide range of measures, both linguistic and social-emotional, compared with children whose hearing loss was identified at later ages. The literature also provides compelling evidence of an improved rate and level of spoken language development for most children with severe to profound sensory-neural deafness who receive a cochlear implant, provided that they receive consistent input in spoken language. The chapter argues for an alternative approach to early intervention, which seeks to identify — at the earliest possible stage — those children for whom spoken communication may not be entirely accessible and for whom signed communication will likely be necessary to ensure their linguistic, social, cognitive, and emotional development. It then seeks to provide those children with a program focusing on the development of both spoken and signed language (or communication).

Keywords:   universal newborn hearing screening, cochlear implantation, deaf children, language learning

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