Early Intervention Network: Supporting Linguistic Competence for Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Factor 2- A collaborative, ongoing process should be used to explore modalities, technologies, and strategies to support the development of linguistic competence.

To guide our team in identifying evidence shown to support linguistic competence, we followed definitions of evidence described in Evidence-Based Practice in the Early Childhood Field (Buysse & Wesley, 2006). In this book, specific to the field of early childhood, evidence includes: 1) "the best available research" (based on research studies, evaluations, objective measurements of child progress, and systematic literature reviews), 2) practitioner experience or professional and/or family wisdom (based on personal observation, experience, professional or expert consensus, position papers, policy statements and professional judgment), and 3) consumers' values and beliefs, which include personal beliefs, concerns, and expectations of consumers (parents and professionals).

Factor 2 Evidence Summary

The evidence supporting Factor 2 centers on: 1) the diverse characteristics and background of each child who is deaf or hard of hearing, and 2) the importance of collaboration between professionals and families in the identification and monitoring of approaches and strategies for each child.

Evidence in literature emphasizes that no single approach is appropriate for all (Calderon & Greenberg, 1997; Spencer & Marschark, 2010). It stresses the value of using language and communication assessment data in guiding and monitoring language and communication approaches (Hafer & Stredler-Brown, 2003; Moeller & Condon, 1994; Stredler-Brown, 2010).

Also discussed is the importance of monitoring strategies and approaches, as addressing language development in both visual and auditory modalities is complex (Harris, 2010). The diverse characteristics of children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families support the importance of professionals working collaboratively to provide information without undue pressure so that families are able to make informed choices (Young et al., 2006).

The need for ongoing collaboration is especially critical in monitoring language and communication approaches and strategies as cochlear implants enter the decision-making process and a child gains improved access to spoken language (Harris, 2010). Also documented in the literature are positive experiences and outcomes of a collaborative model (Yoshinaga-Itano, 2006; Yoshinaga-Itano, 2010) as well as guidelines for establishing a collaborative early intervention program (JCIH, 2013). 

Supporting Document

Factor 2: Evidence

This PDF provides a description of the evidence for Factor 2.