Question four:

"What’s that you say?"

Does language development get in the way?


Antia, S. (1985). Social integration of hearing-impaired children: Fact or fiction? Volta Review, Oct/Nov.
    , 279-289.

Antia, S., Kreimeyer, K., and Eldredge, N. (1994). Promoting social interaction between young children
    with hearing impairments and their peers. Exceptional Children, 60, 262-275.

Esposito, B. and Koorland, M. (1989). Play behavior of hearing-impaired children: Integrated and
    Segregated settings. Exceptional Children, 55, 412-419.

Lederberg, A., Ryan, H., and Robbins, B. (1986). Peer interaction in young deaf children:The effect of
    partner hearing status and familiarity. Developmental Psychology, 22, 691-700.

Summary of findings:



Play can involve verbal or nonverbal communication, and for many young hearing-impaired children, their nonverbal skills can at times successfully work in play interactions with peers, both hearing and hearing impaired. As their linguistic skills develop, they will be able to interact with greater and greater proficiency with all children. If hearing children are motivated to play with hearing impaired children, perhaps through reinforcement by the teacher or parent, interaction will go forward despite communication difficulties. Children who recognize behaviors to initiate play and maintain play may be ‘ahead of the game’ as they recognize opportunities for interaction and know how to keep them going. And, it appears, each opportunity for interaction offers a chance to practice social skills. Toys that promote opportunities for interaction between peers, regardless of language proficiency, may aid the less linguistically proficient child to socialize (See question #6 and 7). Cooperative crafts, games, and social toys (balls, Playdoh, for example) may open doors to interaction. It may be beneficial in social and imaginative play for the teacher to establish the roles and theme for the play situation so that the hearing impaired child can participate fully. The research appears to acknowledge that communication does change the interactions of hearing and hearing impaired peers, however they can be successful, especially if the hearing child is motivated to do so.

Additional references:

Odom, S., McConnell, S., and McEvoy, M. (1992). Social Competence of Young
    Children with Disabilites. Paul Brooks Publishing Co. Baltimore, Maryland.

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