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The National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM) at Utah State University published an e-book in 2019, entitled “A Resource Guide for Early Hearing Detection & Intervention.” Today’s post focuses on Chapter 6 of that publication: “Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing PLUS.”

The chapter defines Deaf or Hard of Hearing (or D/HH) Plus as children who are D/HH and also have developmental or medical difficulties. Research from Gallaudet University indicates that approximately 40% of the pediatric D/HH population falls into this category, likely related to “some of the risk factors for hearing loss . . . such as genetic syndromes, prematurity, congenital infections, and meningitis.”

The chapter also outlines other data that compares the rate of certain disabilities in children who are D/HH Plus to the rates seen in the general public. For example, intellectual disability is over 10 times more likely in the pediatric D/HH Plus population than in the general population, and a diagnosis of autism is approximately seven times more likely. “Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing PLUS” goes on to describe the knowledge and skills professionals must have “to support and promote optimal developmental outcomes” in the D/HH Plus population.

The chapter concludes with some wise words from Candace Lindow-Davies of Minnesota Hands & Voices about the challenges and rewards of having a child who is D/HH Plus.

If you work with children who could be classified as D/HH Plus, this chapter is an excellent read. Take a look and let us know in the comments below what you took away from this post.

The ICC-Recommended Early Start Personnel Manual (ESPM) describes core knowledge and role-specific competencies needed for early intervention service provision, incorporating current research and evidence in the field of early intervention. To access the ESPM, CLICK HERE.

This resource is related to the following ESPM knowledge-level competencies:

  • Core Knowledge (CK):
    • CK7: The variety of pre- and peri-natal risk factors such as genetics, maternal health and nutrition, medical complications, prematurity/low birth weight, substance exposure and other teratogens and their effect on the developing embryo/fetus/newborn.
    • CK8: The etiology, diagnosis and characteristics of disabilities and risk factors.
    • CK9: The characteristics and influence of disabilities and risk factors on early development, learning, care giving and relationships 
      • Medical risk factors, including chronic illness 
      • Familial, cultural, linguistic, social, physical and/or socio-economic factors including poverty, abuse and neglect 
      • Individual variation within specific disabilities and at-risk factors 
      • Multiple disabilities and risk factors 
      • Health and nutritional concerns
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