14. Sustaining oral communicative skills in children with hearing impairment
Although hearing technologies can often efficiently restore auditory functions, there is a large range of recuperation levels, and some children with hearing impairment have difficulties developing adequate oral language skills. We expect that speech skills can be predicted by audiological profile, communicative experience, and intervention method. Thorough quantitative descriptions of the speech abilities of children with hearing impairment are needed to sort out predicting factors and to improve intervention strategies. The aim of this project is to provide an account of speech production and perception abilities in children with prelingual hearing impairment with various audiological and linguistic profiles, and who benefit from various intervention methods. Fine acoustic measurements, intelligibility assessments, and perception tests will be combined. The impact of intervention methods on these measurements will be assessed. This study will provide a quantitative normative description of the various speech patterns of children with hearing impairment in relation to predictive factors, such as age of implantation, duration of implant use, communication modes and practice, unilateral vs. bilateral implantation. These normative data will provide a comprehensive overview of the oral communicative skills of children with hearing impairment and help us to establish evidence-based guidelines for early speech remediation and school support for this specific population. Bridges will be built between linguistics, psychoacoustics, audiology, and sociolinguistics.