Gary Morgan is Professor of Psychology at City, University of London, UK. He investigates language development in deaf children and more recently the interaction between language and cognition. His current work is looking at reasons for the variability in results of Cochlear Implant. He also works with families, teachers and speech and language therapists to improve outcomes for deaf children.
Many deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) children who are late in developing language are at risk for delayed cognitive development and thereby weaker academic performance. This presentation reviews what is known about the development of theory of mind and executive functions in DHH children and its relationship with language development. This is important as DHH children in the mainstream are faced with demands from social interaction with other children, as well as information processing in busy classrooms. An account is proposed that starts with the development of intersubjectivity – the ability of an infant to engage in shared and reciprocal exchanges with caregivers. It is argued that since our latest hearing technologies are appearing increasingly earlier our work on parent-child interaction has to be equally sophisticated and early, in order to promote successful communicative interactions.