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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Schooling Effects on Early Literacy Skills of Young Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children.

  • Author(s): Scott, Jessica A
  • Goldberg, Hanah
  • Connor, Carol McDonald
  • Lederberg, Amy R
  • et al.

Already well documented for hearing children, schooling's effects on early literacy skills for young students who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) were examined for the first time in the present study. Piecewise growth curve modeling was used to describe 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old students' growth in phonological awareness, letter-word identification, and vocabulary during 2 years of schooling and the intervening summer (N = 56). Amplification mode was cochlear implants for 45% of the sample and hearing aids for 54%. Classroom communication mode was spoken language only (for 61%) or sign language (39%). Across all skills, significant growth occurred during the 2 years of schooling but not during the summer. These findings underscore early education's importance in promoting DHH children's critical early skills. Universal preschool intervention, including during summer, may be important in ensuring that DHH children have an adequate foundation when schooling begins.

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