Our research program on deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) people focuses on both children, adolescents, and adults. Below we present examples of projects that cover these different age groups.
Early speech perception as predictor for lexical development in DHH children
Congenital or early acquired hearing loss involves a risk of problems and/or delays in spoken language development due to limited access to the spoken language. In this project, we develop an early, reliable, and low-impact measure to specifically predict spoken language competence in children with congenital and early hearing loss. This assessment tool aims to screen for children who are at risk to increase the effectiveness of interventions and therapy.
DHH children are at risk for psychological problems. That is why Kentalis has developed a program: Psywel, short for psychological well-being. In this project, DHH children and adolescents in our educational programs are screened for psychological problems every two years. When necessary, DHH children and adolescents subsequently receive treatments in general mental health programs or Kentalis’ care programs.
In the last three years, we have piloted the screening of Psywel in three Dutch organizations (with success). We have also conducted a large-scale study on the prevalence of psychological problems among DHH in children and adolescents in our special schools. And we have worked on informational material on psychological problems in deaf and hard-of-hearing children and adolescents for parents, professionals, and for DHH children and adolescents.