Four NextSense academics and practitioners joined world leaders at Macquarie University’s recent Beyond Speech workshop, to share their clinical and academic knowledge aimed at advancing understanding of the communication challenges children who are deaf or hard of hearing face.
Director of NextSense Institute, Professor Greg Leigh and NextSense colleagues presented research results and clinical insights to the group. They covered the longitudinal psychosocial outcomes of children who are deaf or hard of hearing, the impact an early introduction to Auslan has on language development and applying an attachment lens to children with complex needs’ development and outcomes.
Together, co-researchers, Teresa Ching, Linda Cupples, and Greg Leigh focused on the developmental outcomes of children who are deaf or hard of hearing—for the second year running.
This year, the researchers presented a subset of data from the LOCHI Study—the population-based longitudinal study that prospectively evaluates the development of a group of Australian children with hearing loss as they grow up.
This data points to the connection between a child’s quality of life and their psychosocial outcomes and language development.
‘Language development is about much more than “test-focused” linguistic abilities. A child’s abilities to communicate in social interactions and comprehend in different environments are just as important,’ says Greg Leigh.
‘Opportunities like Beyond Speech are fantastic ways to harness the collective knowledge of researchers and work collaboratively to advance the outcomes of children who are deaf and hard of hearing,’ he says.
Greg says the contributing to events such as Beyond Speech is just one of the ways NextSense works to optimise the communication outcomes of children who are deaf or hard of hearing now, and into the future.