Connecting the Dots Between Basic Brain Biology and Literacy

Hearing First recently published a white paper breaking down the vast amount of research informing the practices for teaching a child who is deaf or hard of hearing to develop literacy through Listening and Spoken Language (LSL). Hear from Hearing First CEO Teresa Caraway and white paper author Carol Flexer as they discuss why the document was commissioned and what it means for the LSL community. You can also download the document to read the research summary for yourself!

The purpose of the Start with the Brain and Connect the Dots white paper is to identify the logic and research underlying what we know about how today’s children with hearing loss develop literacy through listening and spoken language. Organized as a logic chain, the document contains samples of supporting research that helps readers connect the dots between basic brain biology and the development of literacy during elementary school. The logic chain summarizes what we know at this point about the ingredients necessary to create a reading brain and represents a system of foundational structures that must ALL be in place to optimize the attainment of a listening, spoken language and literacy outcome for a child who is deaf or hard of hearing.

Watch this video featuring Hearing First CEO Teresa Caraway and white paper author Dr. Carol Flexer to hear about why the paper was commissioned and what it means for the LSL community.


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What This White Paper Means for Parents of Children with Hearing Loss

As families explore desired outcomes and intervention services for their child, they want and need complete information based on research so they can make informed decisions for their child to access the supports and services they need. For parents, this white paper summarizes the research in clear and understandable language. Families may find this paper helpful at or in the first days after diagnosis of hearing loss. Audiologists, Physicians, Early Interventionists, and the first responders in the journey of hearing loss with a family may make it a practice to share this information with their families.

What This White Paper Means for LSL Professionals

Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) professionals are working with a new generation of children who are deaf or hard of hearing—a generation that is not only benefiting from advances in early hearing screening and the use of advanced hearing technology, but a generation that is also the beneficiary of what we now know about brain development, early childhood development, and language and literacy development. The Start with the Brain and Connect the Dots white paper gives LSL professionals a multi-dimensional tool to share with colleagues and families seeking to know more about how children with hearing loss can learn to listen and talk, and the underlying research behind the use of early intervention to achieve the best literacy outcomes possible for each child.