Are We Slipping Them Through the Cracks? The Insufficiency of Norm-Referenced Assessments for Identifying Language Weaknesses in Children With Hearing Loss Children with hearing loss who use listening and spoken language increasingly reach performance within or above the average range on norm-referenced assessments of language ability prior to entering school; however, they continue to perform below expectations on language-based academic skills, such as reading. The purpose of this article was to ... Article
Article  |   August 10, 2017
Are We Slipping Them Through the Cracks? The Insufficiency of Norm-Referenced Assessments for Identifying Language Weaknesses in Children With Hearing Loss
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Krystal L. Werfel
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
  • Michael Douglas
    MED-EL, Durham, NC
  • Disclosures
    Disclosures ×
  • Financial: Research reported in this article was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders of the National Institutes of Health under award number R03DC014535 (PI: Werfel). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
    Financial: Research reported in this article was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders of the National Institutes of Health under award number R03DC014535 (PI: Werfel). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.×
  • Nonfinancial: Portions of this paper were previously presented at the 2016 Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the 2016 Symposium for Research on Child Language Disorders.
    Nonfinancial: Portions of this paper were previously presented at the 2016 Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the 2016 Symposium for Research on Child Language Disorders.×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Language Disorders / Part 1
Article   |   August 10, 2017
Are We Slipping Them Through the Cracks? The Insufficiency of Norm-Referenced Assessments for Identifying Language Weaknesses in Children With Hearing Loss
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, August 2017, Vol. 2, 43-53. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG9.43
History: Received December 29, 2016 , Revised June 22, 2017 , Accepted June 22, 2017
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, August 2017, Vol. 2, 43-53. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG9.43
History: Received December 29, 2016; Revised June 22, 2017; Accepted June 22, 2017

Children with hearing loss who use listening and spoken language increasingly reach performance within or above the average range on norm-referenced assessments of language ability prior to entering school; however, they continue to perform below expectations on language-based academic skills, such as reading. The purpose of this article was to identify limitations of making service provision decisions primarily on the basis of norm-referenced assessments for children with hearing loss. We offer evidence from a group of children with hearing loss who scored within 1.5 standard deviations of the mean on a norm-referenced omnibus language measure. These children with hearing loss performed more poorly than age-matched children with normal hearing on several measures derived from a naturalistic language sample. Based on the limitations of norm-referenced assessments and the findings of this study, we propose that language sample analysis should be used as primary evidence of language weakness for children with hearing loss.

Acknowledgements
Research reported in this article was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders of the National Institutes of Health under award number R03DC014535 (PI: Werfel). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. We appreciate the transcription and coding work of Sara Straley, Logan Douglass, Addyson Pound, and Breanna Todd.
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