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An Observational Study of Social Communication Skills in Eight Preschoolers with and Without Hearing Loss During Cooperative Play

Abstract

Early peer relationships and interactions influence social acceptance and a child’s ability to form social relationships later in life (Ladd 2005). Although it has been reported that some children with profound hearing loss who have experienced the oral approach since diagnosis display language skills similar to children with typical hearing (DeLuzio and Girolametto 2011), many may still be excluded socially and have subtle communication differences that impact friendships. More information is needed about how differences and similarities are manifested in young children with hearing loss. This investigation observed the frequency of three social communicative behaviors displayed by eight preschoolers with and without hearing loss as they played in dyads during unstructured table activities. The results revealed that the children with hearing loss produced about a quarter as many initiated verbal comments; however, they engaged in more verbal and play turns than their playmates with typical hearing. Implications for teaching young children with hearing loss in inclusive preschool settings are discussed.

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Correspondence to Jonna Bobzien.

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Bobzien, J., Richels, C., Raver, S.A. et al. An Observational Study of Social Communication Skills in Eight Preschoolers with and Without Hearing Loss During Cooperative Play. Early Childhood Educ J 41, 339–346 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-012-0561-6

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Keywords

  • Communication
  • Social skills
  • Inclusion
  • Hearing loss
  • Peer interaction
  • Preschool
  • Play