Chapter 27. The Importance of Early Intervention for Infants and Children with Hearing Loss
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Key Points 1. The literature on the effectiveness of intervention for improving outcomes of children with hearing loss at a population level has equivocal findings. 2. The LOCHI study addresses the evidence gap by prospectively evaluating the outcomes of a population cohort of early- and later-identified children who receive the same consistent post-diagnostic hearing services. 3. Early hearing aid fitting or cochlear implantation was effective in improving spoken language outcomes of children. 4. Factors associated with better outcomes also included better nonverbal cognitive ability, less severe hearing loss, absence of additional disabilities, higher maternal educational level, and the use of an oral communication mode (speech) during therapeutic intervention. 5. The presence of auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD) was not a significant factor influencing outcomes. 6. Hearing aids prescribed according to the NAL or DSL procedures and verified using real-ear measurements provide audibility that supports language development.