Speech recognition and parent ratings from auditory development questionnaires in children who are hard of hearing

Ryan W McCreery, Elizabeth A. Walker, Meredith Spratford, Jacob Oleson, Ruth Bentler, Lenore Holte, Patricia Roush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: Progress has been made in recent years in the provision of amplification and early intervention for children who are hard of hearing. However, children who use hearing aids (HAs) may have inconsistent access to their auditory environment due to limitations in speech audibility through their HAs or limited HA use. The effects of variability in children's auditory experience on parent-reported auditory skills questionnaires and on speech recognition in quiet and in noise were examined for a large group of children who were followed as part of the Outcomes of Children with Hearing Loss study. Design: Parent ratings on auditory development questionnaires and children's speech recognition were assessed for 306 children who are hard of hearing. Children ranged in age from 12 months to 9 years. Three questionnaires involving parent ratings of auditory skill development and behavior were used, including the LittlEARS Auditory Questionnaire, Parents Evaluation of Oral/Aural Performance in Children rating scale, and an adaptation of the Speech, Spatial, and Qualities of Hearing scale. Speech recognition in quiet was assessed using the Open- and Closed-Set Test, Early Speech Perception test, Lexical Neighborhood Test, and Phonetically Balanced Kindergarten word lists. Speech recognition in noise was assessed using the Computer-Assisted Speech Perception Assessment. Children who are hard of hearing were compared with peers with normal hearing matched for age, maternal educational level, and nonverbal intelligence. The effects of aided audibility, HA use, and language ability on parent responses to auditory development questionnaires and on children's speech recognition were also examined. Results: Children who are hard of hearing had poorer performance than peers with normal hearing on parent ratings of auditory skills and had poorer speech recognition. Significant individual variability among children who are hard of hearing was observed. Children with greater aided audibility through their HAs, more hours of HA use, and better language abilities generally had higher parent ratings of auditory skills and better speech-recognition abilities in quiet and in noise than peers with less audibility, more limited HA use, or poorer language abilities. In addition to the auditory and language factors that were predictive for speech recognition in quiet, phonological working memory was also a positive predictor for word recognition abilities in noise. Conclusions: Children who are hard of hearing continue to experience delays in auditory skill development and speech-recognition abilities compared with peers with normal hearing. However, significant improvements in these domains have occurred in comparison to similar data reported before the adoption of universal newborn hearing screening and early intervention programs for children who are hard of hearing. Increasing the audibility of speech has a direct positive effect on auditory skill development and speech-recognition abilities and also may enhance these skills by improving language abilities in children who are hard of hearing. Greater number of hours of HA use also had a significant positive impact on parent ratings of auditory skills and children's speech recognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60S-75S
JournalEar and hearing
Volume36
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

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Keywords

  • Amplification
  • Audibility
  • Auditory development
  • Children
  • Outcome measures
  • Speech intelligibility index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Speech and Hearing

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