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date: 06 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

One essential characteristic of effective (signed or spoken) language acquisition is that it helps young children interact with and open up to the world. By doing so, they come to recognize and understand both the world and themselves. However, how does this work for deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) children? The social-emotional dimension is one very important domain in this regard that will be considered at length in this chapter. Results of studies will be presented that focus, in particular, on the role of communication and language for various important social-emotional developmental domains in DHH children (e.g., self-esteem, quality of life, and behavior problems). The essential message arising from the available data is that the decisive factor that drives development forward and provides good social-emotional functioning is (early) access to language.

Keywords: language skills, communication competencies, social-emotional development, access, quality of interaction

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