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date: 07 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Hearing loss has well-reported and significant detrimental effects on learning in children. In particular, it negatively impacts the development of language, through which most other learning occurs. It is therefore of the utmost importance for parents of children with hearing loss to determine which communication approach will give their children the best possible chance of achieving age-appropriate language. Parents are often presented with conflicting information about what their choice of communication mode should be. This chapter reviews the evidence regarding learning outcomes for children using oral communication versus oral plus signed communication across a variety of outcomes, including language, reading, speech production, speech perception, and social and academic development. The cognitive/learning differences observed between children with normal hearing and hearing loss, and between children using different communication modes, are discussed, and conclusions are drawn to assist parents and clinicians with optimizing learning opportunities for children with hearing loss.

Keywords: hearing loss, oral communication, sign language, cognition, learning, working memory, executive function, language, academic outcomes, social development

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