Date of Graduation

5-2018

Document Type

UAF Access Only - Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Education

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders

Advisor

Rachel Glade

Abstract

In the United States, three out of every 1,000 children are born with a degree of hearing loss in one or both of their ears (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders [NIDCD], 2016). This statistic should spark concern considering a toddler’s linguistic and pragmatic development relies heavily on his or her functional hearing. Children with hearing impairments who use spoken language as their primary form of communication experience great difficulty – both expressively and receptively – as they fail to express their wants and needs (Meilijson, Most & Shina-August, 2010). The first few years of life are crucial to the development of spoken language; thus, it is important that children with hearing impairments receive early hearing loss detection and intervention. Speech perception and speech intelligibility will not develop on par with hearing peers if children with hearing loss do not receive appropriate audiological management and early communication intervention. Speech perception refers to the comprehension of the sounds of language, while speech intelligibility is the understandability (or clarity) of an individual’s speech. Children with severe or profound hearing loss are often unable to achieve good access to sound through traditional hearing technology, such as hearing aids. As a result, parents of children with severe or profound hearing loss are seeking out cochlear implants, devices that are capable of providing good access to sound. This study tracked the linguistic and pragmatic development of a toddler with cochlear implants. This study was necessary, as there is limited research on what linguistic and pragmatic development takes place over time in toddlers with cochlear implants. This study hopes to expound on the 2015 thesis completed by Wood & Hagstrom in an effort to compare and contrast the development of toddlers who received cochlear implants at a young age.

Keywords

Cochlear Implants, Pragmatics, Linguistic Development, Language, Toddlers, Longitudinal Case Study

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