Developmental Benefits

Dr. Christine Yoshinaga-Itano, chair of the Communication Disorders and Speech Sciences Department at the University of Colorado in Boulder, states, “It’s not that we’re fixing a delay, we seem to be preventing it from ever occurring.” Dr. Yoshinaga-Itano and her colleagues have tracked children to age 3 and found that the data support the efficacy of early intervention and universal infant screening.

“They’re able to maintain a normal range of language through their preschool years.” Examining a group of 69 infants, the researchers found that neonates identified at ages 0-2 months “scored significantly higher…in general development and expressive language than subjects identified at a later age.” {Seminars in Hearing, 16 (2), 124-139}.

Performance “remarkably close to age level” was seen in the infants who were identified by 2 months (p.133). Similar results have been observed in a population of 300 infants in Colorado. Improvements have been noted among children 0-3 in both speech development and language acquisition. Progress has been noted among various types of hearing loss (mild, moderate and severe), which has been attributed to a vast improvement in hearing aid devices in the last few years….

“Infants who are identified as profoundly deaf at birth do experience a language delay.” However, “they’re doing better than the late-identified child” according to Dr. Yoshinaga-Itano’s research. {Advance, Vol. 6, No. 40, pg. 11, 1996.}