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Vocabulary, diagnosis, and intervention in DHH infants/toddlers (Campbell & Bergelson, 2022)

posted on 2022-04-01, 17:33 authored by Erin Campbell, Elika Bergelson
Purpose: This study sought to (a) characterize the demographic, audiological, and intervention variability in a population of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) children receiving state services for hearing loss; (b) identify predictors of vocabulary delays; and (c) evaluate factors influencing the success and timing of early identification and intervention efforts at a state level.
Method: One hundred DHH infants and toddlers (aged 4–36 months) enrolled in early intervention completed the MacArthur–Bates Communicative Development Inventories, and detailed information about their audiological and clinical history was collected. We examined the influence of demographic, clinical, and audiological factors on vocabulary outcomes and early intervention efforts.
Results: We found that this sample showed spoken language vocabulary delays (production) relative to hearing peers and showed room for improvement in rates of early diagnosis and intervention. These delays in vocabulary and early support services were predicted by an overlapping subset of hearing-, health-, and home-related variables.
Conclusions: In a diverse sample of DHH children receiving early intervention, we identify variables that predict delays in vocabulary and early support services, which reflected both dimensions that are immutable, and those that clinicians and caretakers can potentially alter. We provide a discussion on the implications for clinical practice.

Supplemental Material S1. Additional diagnoses (n = 39): number of participants in our sample diagnosed with other conditions.

Supplemental Material S2. Audiological characteristics of the sample.

Supplemental Material S3. Language and communication characteristics of the sample: number of participants by language background and communication method.

Supplemental Material S4. Unstandardized beta weights (months of vocabulary delay) for the model of vocabulary delay selected by AIC.

Supplemental Material S5. Unstandardized beta weights (months) for the model of age at diagnosis selected by AIC.

Supplemental Material S6. Unstandardized beta weights (months) for the model of age at diagnosis intervention by AIC.

Campbell, E., & Bergelson, E. (2022). Characterizing North Carolina Deaf and Hard of Hearing infants and toddles: Predictors of vocabulary, diagnosis, and intervention. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Advance online publication.


This work was supported by the National Science Foundation CAREER Grant (BCS-1844710) to Elika Bergelson and Graduate Research Fellowship (2019274952) to Erin Campbell.