We are recognizing that there can be many factors impacting a child’s
progress. Cognitive ability is important in helping children progress in their
language and self-help skills. This aspect of a child’s learning profile is
more important than a specific disability label. For example, children with
cerebral palsy can have a wide range of skills, but the biggest predictor of
higher skill development is their problem solving abilities.
We’ve observed that a child who is deaf/hoh with an additional disability has better life skills if they display equal
amounts of language progress as problem solving progress compared to a child
whose language lags behind his/her problem solving abilities. This is true for all
children who are deaf or hard of hearing, with and without additional
It is important to understand a child’s capabilities in order to strive for
appropriate therapy goals and help children meet their individual potential.
We are focusing on functional communication in children who are deaf/hoh
using implants, hearing aids, or no amplification and are expanding our work to
better understand the needs and effective interventions for children who are
deaf/hoh with an autism spectrum disorder.