Monday, October 06, 2008
ScienceDaily (Sep. 29, 2008) — The number of hearing impaired infants and toddlers who are successfully aided by technological devices, such as hearing aids and cochlear implants, continues to grow, but there are still unknowns about these children's speaking abilities, according to a Purdue University expert.
A new assessment tool, a game-like activity to monitor early auditory-guided speech development in infants and toddlers, is available for speech-language pathologists, said David Ertmer, the tool's co-creator and an associate professor of speech, language and hearing sciences.
"We have universal newborn hearing screenings, which are mandatory in more than 40 states, to thank for identifying hearing issues immediately. Some children receive hearing assistance when they turn 1," said Ertmer, who specializes in early speech and language development in children with hearing losses. "Given the growing number of infants identified with hearing loss through newborn hearing screenings, there is a pressing need for a reliable and practical way to estimate how improved hearing affects listening and vocalizing during the first years of life."
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