Open Access Honors Program Thesis
When a child is diagnosed with a hearing loss, there are many different facets of their diagnosis to consider, and all of these facets are affected by the configuration, type, and severity of the hearing loss. Because of the patient's age, all decisions are at least impacted, if not made, by their parents or guardians. Depending on these factors, there are options for assistive devices, such as hearing aids, and one of the main concerns is access to language. While signed language is a completely valid path for a child with hearing loss, some parents make the decision that their children need spoken language. In some cases, a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) is required on the caseload to assist in this language learning process. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is to assess the comfort level of SLPs in assessing and treating Deaf and Hard of Hearing children.
The significance of this research can be seen in the treatment and therapy of Deaf and hard of hearing children; because there is a language barrier, it is crucial that the professionals treating Deaf and hard of hearing children are qualified and well trained to do so. This is especially important for children whose parents decide that speech will be their primary form of communication. Because of this responsibility, it is imperative that SLPs have not only the training, but also the comfort level to assess and treat Deaf and hard of hearing children. This all ties back to Deaf and hard of hearing children receiving the best quality of care possible, and the general understanding of how crucial access to language, which can be provided by an SLP, is to a child's overall development. Because of this, it is crucial that SLPs are provided with as much support and training as possible, to ensure their comfort level is high enough to properly treat Deaf and hard of hearing children. This research strives to provide a baseline for the research question, to then determine in potential future research what specific support SLPs need.
Year of Submission
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
University Honors Designation
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors
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©2021 Kaitlyn Burkamper
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Burkamper, Kaitlyn, "Assessing the comfort level of speech-language pathologists in assessing and treating deaf and hard of hearing children" (2021). Honors Program Theses. 515.