Saturday, March 17, 2012

Research that has benefited children

I am always fascinated by brain development research.  Because of this type of research we know that there are specific time periods when children are better able to learn specific types of information.  This type of research has also helped to show us the need to provide intervention to children with severe hearing loss and deafness as early as possible.  In the past, but in some cases as recently as the 1970s, children who were born deaf went undiagnosed for many years, sometimes not until they entered school did the family learn there was a problem.  In some cases these children were then diagnosed as mentally retarded and placed in institutions.   Brain development research has taught us that the prime time to learn language is in the early years of life.  Consequently, most of these undiagnosed children were not able to develop language skills.

Because of the research into brain development and how children acquire language, it is common practice for hospitals to administer the newborn hearing screener with all babies.  Although the test is not foolproof and can produce a false positive in about 1% of the tests, it is a great way to detect hearing loss and deafness early on.  In cases where there is a history of family deafness, research has shown a need for follow up tests every six months until the child is five.  

Halpin, K., Smith, K., Widen, J., & Chertoff, M. (2010). Effects of universal newborn hearing                 screening on an  early   intervention program for children with hearing loss, birth to 3 yr of age.  Journal Of The American Academy Of Audiology, 21(3), 169-175.

1 comment:

tiffany said...

I agree that this topic is an important one. Children do develop different parts of their brain at different times. Without us, especially as teachers, did not understand this then there may be a big concern in the day care field. Children would not be able to develop at the correct rate because the teachers may be requiring too much or even too little of the child for that approriate age group. I am anxious to hear more on your progress.