Language Deprivation

Education and Health of Children with Hearing Loss: The Necessity of Signed Languages

By Early Intervention, Early Language Development, Information, Language Deprivation, Research

a screenshot of a research paper called Education and health of children with hearing loss: the necessity of signed languages

Medical and educational interventions for children with hearing loss often adopt a single approach of spoken language acquisition through the use of technology, such as cochlear implants. These approaches generally ignore signed languages, despite no guarantees that the child will acquire fluency in a spoken language. Research with children who have a cochlear implant and do not use a signed language indicates that language outcomes are very variable and generally worse than their non-deaf peers. In contrast, signing children with cochlear implants have timely language development similar to their non-deaf peers that also exceeds their non-signing peers with cochlear implants. Natural signed languages have been shown to have the same neurocognitive benefits as natural spoken language while being fully accessible to deaf children. However, it is estimated less than 2% of the 34 million deaf children worldwide receive early childhood exposure to a signed language. Most deaf children are, therefore, at risk for language deprivation during the critical period of language acquisition in the first five years of life. Language deprivation has negative consequences for developmental domains, which rely on timely language acquisition. Beyond the adverse effects on a child’s education, language deprivation also affects deaf people’s mental and physical health and access to health care, among others. Therefore, policies in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities are needed. Such policies would ensure early intervention and education services include signed languages and bilingual programmes where the signed language is the language of instruction.

Read more about this topic in Joseph Murray, Wyatte Hall, and Kristin Snoddon’s research paper.


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Language Deprivation Syndrome

By Early Language Development, Information, Language Deprivation, Research

A screenshot of Northeastern university's website

Learn more about the impact of Language Deprivation Syndrome from Northeastern University’s Centre for Atypical Language Interpreting (CALI). This web resource will cover the basics and complexities of Language Deprivation Syndrome, it’s impact on Deaf children, and its possible link to neurodevelopment disorders.

This research is available in both a written format and ASL.