Although there are many difficulties such as Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Apraxia, English as an Additional Language (EAL), Stuttering and Selective Mutism, all of which impact greatly on language acquisition, Cherry (2011) focuses on impaired hearing, providing not only an overview of the condition but also the means with which to positively impact on language acquisition.
Bercow (2008) as previously discussed refers to the importance of communication as central to all learning. Cherry discusses this further referring to the significance of hearing and listening with regards to the development of language and literacy. The EYFS (EE,2012) reiterates this placing ‘Listening and Attention’ as a subsection within the ‘prime area’ ‘Communication and Language’.
However when the ability to hear is compromised, developmental norms are then in jeopardy. Cherry refers to the leading cause of hearing ...view middle of the document...
However Luterman (2010) discusses the negative side of such early ‘positive’ identification, referring to poor communication between the professional and parent, resulting in poor uptake of subsequent tests, at an emotional time, especially when the possible cause may be temporary debris in the ear canal brought about by the birth, impacting on the negative result. Rosenfield, Culpepper& Doyle (2004) reiterate this referring to the monitoring which takes place and the subsequent ‘myringotomy’ procedure if needed. Arick &Silman (2005) also refer to the non surgical ‘ear popper’ procedure, which ventilates the middle ear, having a seventy four percent success rate in this situation.
For the child for whom such intervention will have no impact Cherry discusses hearing aids which can be fitted from as young as two months old and in more severe cases cochlear implants which bypass the damaged ear. However Harkins & Bakke (2011) warns of how even with such amplification the sound perceived by the child is different, therefore the need for significant intervention is required to enable language acquisition.
A clear understanding of such intervention is primarily guided by the health professional, therefore as discussed in Bercow (2008) the need for high quality multiagency working and training is imperative to enable the child to have the best start possible. High quality provision is discussed by Cherry, referring to not only the importance of a supportive environment, but also the knowledge and approach by the practitioner to provide an atmosphere of encouragement and reinforced communication. Such provision such as the use of ‘Makaton’ to aid visual cues, is discussed by Mistrya & Barnes (2012) who refer also to the impact this makes on language acquisition by the hearing children with Speech Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) as well.
In conclusion this detailed chapter reiterates, with previous authors in this bibliography, the importance of early identification by the practitioner/professional to enable intervention to be put into place. However this will not take place without the appropriate training and interagency discussions.