Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr. Janis Cardy

2nd Supervisor

Dr. Marlene Bagatto

Joint Supervisor


The Ontario Infant Hearing Program (OIHP) provides early interventions (i.e., hearing aids) to children who are hard of hearing (CHH) because research consistently demonstrates their benefit to language outcomes. The impact of pre-fitting language abilities on these outcomes are not well understood.

This retrospective cohort analysis examined the performance of OIHP children on the Preschool Language Scale-4 at the time of (n=47), and after (n=19), initial hearing aid intervention. Regression analyses revealed that, before amplification, hearing loss severity predicted language abilities. However, after amplification, severity of hearing loss did not uniquely predict language achievement, but rather was driven by its relationship with language at the time of amplification.

These findings suggest that hearing aids fitted early may provide a preservation benefit to the language achievement of CHH, and that this benefit is greatest for children at highest risk (i.e., children with the weakest initial language, and most severe hearing loss).