Effects of auditory processing on lexical development in children with hearing impairment
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The purpose of this thesis is to provide a review and discussion of the current literature on auditory processing, speech discrimination, word recognition, and early lexical representations in children with normal hearing and those with hearing impairment in addition to identifying areas in which current research is lacking. This information is needed to consider potential interactions between various factors affecting the development of spoken word recognition. This will also provide a starting point for identifying further research needs. Since children with hearing loss do not receive the same amount of exposure to speech and language as typically developing children, it can be expected that the development of speech and word recognition in this population may progress differently. If we can identify differences in auditory processing and phonological development in children with hearing impairment, we can modify speech and language therapy to focus on more specific and effective targets. The subsequent chapters will provide a critical review of the current literature on the aforementioned topics. In Chapters 2 and 3, studies assessing differences in processing, attention to sound, intersensory perception, and sound discrimination abilities in children with normal hearing and hearing impairment will be discussed. Chapters 4 and 5 focus on word recognition skills, and early lexical representations. Chapter 6 will synthesize results of available studies and suggest areas in which more research is needed. Together, these chapters will help us gain a better understanding of the complex interactions between auditory processing, executive functioning, phonological development and later word recognition outcomes. By identifying which avenues have the greatest effect on outcomes in cochlear implant users, we can modify speech and language therapy in order to address the unique needs of this special population.