Factor 1: Direct and daily access to language and communication is essential to facilitating each child's language and communication development.
The evidence supporting Factor 1 centers on the importance of language access occurring early in a child's life and the critical nature of quality parent-child communication in the establishment of linguistic competence.
Factor 2: A collaborative, ongoing process should be used to explore modalities, technologies, and strategies to support the development of linguistic competence.
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.
Factor 3: Early exposure to accessible language through sign is beneficial to language acquisition.
The evidence supporting Factor 3 centers on: 1) the benefit of using visual language to establish early timely language foundations and minimize language delay, 2) the beneficial role of sign language in the development of spoken language, and 3) the potential of hearing families to acquire the competence to facilitate their child's development of visual language.
Factor 4: Early fitting of amplification and ongoing monitoring of its effectiveness is integral to selecting communication strategies to facilitate language development.
The evidence supporting Factor 4 centers on: 1) the importance of early fitting of listening technologies, and 2) the importance of evaluating and monitoring of the role of listening in the development of linguistic competence.
Factor 5: Planning for language and communication development should be individualized and systematically guided by ongoing assessment and monitoring.
The evidence supporting Factor 5 centers on professional insights and experiences addressing the benefits of developing and implementing an assessment-driven, systematic language planning process to guide recommendations for choosing and monitoring strategies and approaches to best facilitate language acquisition as well as the recommended components of this process.
Early Intervention Network: Supporting Linguistic Competence for Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Linguistic competence is the ability to use language to facilitate communication, critical thinking, problem solving, reading, and writing.
There are many important considerations when facilitating positive early intervention (EI) outcomes for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. The process begins with effective Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EDHI) systems being in place to facilitate a seamless transition from identification that a child is deaf or hard of hearing to the initiation of EI services prior to 6 months of age. Implementation of EI practices to support the development of linguistic competence is essential and the next step after identification.
The Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center's 2009-2012 strategic plan included an objective to identify and disseminate evidence-based strategies critical to the development of linguistic competence for EI service delivery. To accomplish this, an action plan team was established composed of EI specialists, early childhood education teachers and specialists, parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing, program evaluators, and other professionals specializing in this population.
As a result of their work, the team identified five overarching factors that they found to be supported in EI literature as integral to the development of linguistic competence. Based on these factors, the team then identified essential EI program components critical to facilitating linguistic competence as well as EI programs and resources demonstrating these factors. This website will focus on:
- sharing the following five overarching factors and associated evidence believed to be integral to the development of linguistic competence for children who are deaf or hard of hearing,
- sharing the recommended EI practices identified as beneficial to the development of linguistic competence in young children who are deaf or hard of hearing based on identified evidence, and
- highlighting EI programs and services that illustrate these factors in action.
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