Research Forum

The Impact of Hearing Loss on Childhood Development and Family Constellation

As families seek resources for their children who are deaf or hard of hearing, it can be difficult to understand the recent research and evidence base. Families turn to professionals for knowledge that is factual, timely, and current. This forum will address several factors that are impacted by family involvement and related recent evidence, allowing professionals to make more specific recommendations to families to reach a desired outcome for listening and spoken language.

Our understanding of factors that impact development and overall outcomes in children with hearing loss is ever-changing. New discoveries are leading to a deeper understanding of the complex and interrelated family behaviors that result in the comprehension, production, and use of language. The 2019 Research Forum will offer scientists a platform to share their findings in this area and their theories about how this research could predict speech, language, and hearing outcomes using specific interventions to address hearing loss.

2019 Research Forum Presenters:


Sophie Ambrose, Ph.D.
Center for Childhood Deafness, Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska

Supporting the Hearing Device use of Infants and Toddlers Enrolled in Early Intervention


This presentation brings together data from several studies to provide a picture of the challenges faced by professionals and parents in supporting the hearing device use of infants and toddlers. The presentation will highlight tools that professionals can utilize to better understand how often children are wearing their hearing devices and what supports families need to optimize device use. Additionally, evidence-based strategies for supporting children’s hearing device use will be shared.

Learning Outcomes
  1. The learner will be able to describe the contexts in which hearing device use is most difficult to establish for infants and toddlers with hearing loss.
  2. The learner will be able to list one tool for assessing parents’ needs pertaining to supporting their child’s hearing device use.
  3. The learner will be able to list three strategies for supporting parents in optimizing their child’s hearing device use.


Ivette Cejas, Ph.D Ivette Cejas, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Otolaryngology and Psychology, University of Miami; Director of the Barton G. Kids Hear Now Cochlear Implant Family Resource Center at UHealth Ear Institute

PEARLS: An Intervention to Improve Parent-child Interactions and Communication


Parents play a critical role in facilitating language development in children with hearing loss. Specifically, the quality of parent-child interactions, including maternal sensitivity (MS) and facilitative language techniques (FLTs) have been shown to positively affect children’s spoken language. This presentation will report on a parent-focused intervention to improve parental sensitivity and communication (Parent-Child Early Approaches to Raising Language Skills – PEARLS). The effectiveness and feasibility of this intervention will also be discussed.

Learning Outcomes
  1. The learner will be able to explain the current literature on the impact of parenting behaviors on child outcomes.
  2. The learner will be able to list measures that can be used to assess parental self-efficacy and involvement.
  3. The learning will be able to identify strategies that can be implemented to improve parent-child interactions.


Laurie Eisenberg, Ph.D Laurie Eisenberg, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California

Childhood Development After Cochlear Implantation: Results From a Multisite Longitudinal Investigation


Childhood Development after Cochlear Implantation (CDaCI) is a prospective national investigation that tracks developmental outcomes in a group of children implanted in early childhood. Taking a whole-child approach, the children are assessed with regard to spoken language, speech production, speech recognition, psychosocial functioning, and cost utility / quality of life. Despite wide variability, results indicate that early access to sound via cochlear implantation is advantageous for spoken communication and other indices of development.

Learning Outcomes
  1. The learner will describe the CDaCI national study.
  2. The learner will be able to identify the advantages of prospective and longitudinal investigations.
  3. The learner will be able to re-state general findings from the CDaCI study and the factors that contribute to the outcomes.


Rachael Holt Ph.D. Rachael Holt, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Speech and Hearing Science, Ohio State University

Families Matter: Pathways of Influence on Developmental Outcomes


One potent and often ignored influence on development in children who are deaf or hard of hearing is the family environment. We are evaluating children who are deaf or hard of hearing with cochlear implants and hearing aids and their homes to understand how families influence spoken language and executive function development. Whereas family environments are not fundamentally different from those of hearing children, variability is seen across families with children who are deaf and hard of hearing and even small changes in key family measures can have more important influences on developmental outcomes in children who are deaf and hard of hearing than hearing children. Implications for intervention will be discussed.

Learning Outcomes
  1. The learner will be able to list key components of a Biopsychosocial Risk model of childhood hearing loss.
  2. The learner will be able to describe how a family environment differs from parental langauge input.
  3. The learner will be able to characterize the variability in the observed family environment and how this is related to key developmental outcomes in children who are deaf and hard of hearing.
Contact us

Send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt
Translate »