Gesture Use in 14-Month-Old Toddlers With Hearing Loss and Their Mothers' Responses Purpose This study examined the gesture use of 14-month-old toddlers with hearing loss (HL) and mothers' responses to children's early gesture use. Comparisons were made to symbolic language and to dyads in which the toddler had normal hearing (NH). Method Participants were 25 mother–toddler dyads in which the ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 01, 2016
Gesture Use in 14-Month-Old Toddlers With Hearing Loss and Their Mothers' Responses
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sophie E. Ambrose
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Center for Childhood Deafness, Omaha, NE
  • Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Sophie E. Ambrose: sophie.ambrose@boystown.org
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Li Sheng
    Associate Editor: Li Sheng×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Language Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 01, 2016
Gesture Use in 14-Month-Old Toddlers With Hearing Loss and Their Mothers' Responses
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2016, Vol. 25, 519-531. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-15-0098
History: Received July 14, 2015 , Revised December 18, 2015 , Accepted February 15, 2016
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2016, Vol. 25, 519-531. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-15-0098
History: Received July 14, 2015; Revised December 18, 2015; Accepted February 15, 2016

Purpose This study examined the gesture use of 14-month-old toddlers with hearing loss (HL) and mothers' responses to children's early gesture use. Comparisons were made to symbolic language and to dyads in which the toddler had normal hearing (NH).

Method Participants were 25 mother–toddler dyads in which the child had HL and a socioeconomic-status matched group of 23 mother–toddler dyads in which the child had NH. Thirty-minute mother–child interactions were video-recorded, transcribed for spoken language, sign, and gesture use, and coded for maternal responses to children's gestures. Mothers also reported on children's gestural and spoken language abilities.

Results Toddlers with HL used gesture similarly to their peers with NH, but demonstrated delays in spoken language. Spoken language and gesture were not significantly related for either group. Hearing levels were related to spoken language, but not gesture for the HL group. Maternal and child gesture were only related for signing mothers. Mothers of children with HL were more likely than their counterparts to provide no response to children's gestures.

Conclusion Although toddlers' gesture abilities remain intact in the presence of HL, mothers were not maximally responsive to those gestures and thus should be coached to increase their provision of contingent feedback.

Acknowledgements
This work was supported by two grants from the NIDCD of the National Institutes of Health: R01DC006681 (principal investigator, Mary Pat Moeller, Boys Town National Research Hospital) and R03DC01264701 (awarded to the author). The content of this project is solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIDCD or the National Institutes of Health. I thank the children and families who participated in this project. I also thank Mary Pat Moeller and Jana Iverson for their invaluable help in conceptualizing this project and their helpful feedback on this article.
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