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Speaking skills crucial for hearing impaired children in the classroom
Date:12/17/2012

Current special education laws are geared towards integrating special-needs children into the general classroom environment from a young age, starting as early as preschool. Prof. Tova Most of Tel Aviv University's Jaime and Joan Constantiner School of Education and the Department of Communications Disorders at the Stanley Steyer School of Health Professions says that these laws present a unique set of challenges for children with hearing loss, and that a sense of isolation may inhibit a successful education.

While studies show that many children with hearing loss are academically comparable to their peers with normal hearing, active participation in classroom and group activities, as well as social integration, is more complex. Even with advanced sensory devices such as hearing aids and cochear implants, it can be difficult for children to pick up on all the necessary information in a busy atmosphere, leaving them with a sense that they're being "left out" by hearing classmates.

In a study designed to explore the social competence and the perceived sense of loneliness of children with hearing loss in a regular classroom with normal hearing children, Prof. Most and her fellow researchers discovered that successful integration is dependent on a child's level of speech intelligibility. The results have been reported in the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education.

Closing the gap

Modern technology has allowed children with hearing loss to access more auditory information and develop better spoken language than ever before. And because advanced screening for hearing loss is now performed at birth, children can receive intervention from a young age. "In the regular classroom, the more they are intelligible, the more their social skills and competence rise, and it's easier for them to make hearing friends," Prof. Most reports.

In their study, the researchers measured social competence and perceived sense
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Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert

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