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Exploring Speech and Language Intervention for Preschoolers who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: A Scoping Review
The Journal of Early Hearing Detection and Intervention
  • Janis Oram Cardy
  • Hillary Ganek, The Hospital for Sick Children
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Purpose: The objective of this study was to summarize the extant literature on the effectiveness of speech and spoken language interventions for young children who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) to determine which types of speechlanguage interventions might be most effective, for which hearing levels and types of hearing losses, and at which dosage.

Methods: Using a scoping review methodology, a database search identified 10,360 studies of which 16 met the requirements for inclusion. Data was extracted from each for analysis.

Results: Due to the limited number of studies available, high variability in the nature of the studies, and insufficient details about the interventions and sample in many of the papers, fully addressing the study objectives was difficult. However, common themes included the positive effect of caregiver-centered approaches on language outcomes, the equal effectiveness of virtual versus in person intervention, the addition of other speech and language intervention techniques to Auditory-Verbal Therapy may improve outcomes, and the effect of speech and language therapy on auditory skills is unclear.

Conclusions: This scoping review offers an initial step in analyzing and implementing evidence-based speech and language treatment protocols for children who are DHH.

Keywords: Early intervention; auditory-verbal therapy; auditory-oral therapy; scoping review

Acronyms: AVT = Auditory-Verbal Therapy; AVTs = auditory-verbal therapists; BAHAs = bone anchored hearing aids; CI = cochlear implant; DHH = deaf or hard of hearing; HA = hearing aid; MLU = mean length utterance; PCIT = Parent-Child Interaction Therapy; SLPs = speech-language pathologists; ToDs = teachers of the deaf

Acknowledgements: The authors have no disclosures. This work was funded by the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services. The authors would like to thank Marissa Tippet and Joyce Lam for their assistance with this review. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to: Hillary Ganek, PhD, The Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Ave., Toronto, ON M5G 1X8, Canada. Email:


Ganek, H. & Cardy, J. O. (2021). Exploring speech and language intervention for preschoolers who are deaf and hard of hearing: A scoping review. Journal of Early Hearing Detection and Intervention, 6(2), 87-100. DOI:

First published in the Journal of Hearing Detection and Intervention, vol. 6, issue 2 (2021


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Janis Oram Cardy and Hillary Ganek. "Exploring Speech and Language Intervention for Preschoolers who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: A Scoping Review" The Journal of Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Vol. 6 Iss. 2 (2021) p. 87 - 100
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