Early Identification of Developmental Delays in Infants and Young Children with Unilateral Hearing Loss

Date of Graduation

Spring 2007


Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Neil DiSarno


It is believed that one in three school aged children with unilateral hearing loss (UHL) are at risk for resulting academic deficits (Bess, Klee & Culbertson, 1986 & Brookhouser et al., 1991). A recent study has shown that 1/3 of infants and toddlers with UHL exhibits speech and language delays (Stredler-Brown, 2005). The Stredler-Brown (2005) study had a limited sample size and covered a limited area of the country; therefore, the findings cannot be generalized to infants and toddlers in Missouri with UHL. This study evaluated speech, language and developmental delays in infants and young children with unilateral hearing loss in the state of Missouri. The Infant Child Development Inventories, The MacArthur Communicative Development Inventories, and videotaped 30 minute language samples were utilized in this study to assess the developmental levels of 12 infants and toddlers in Missouri with UHL. Our results suggest that one half of our participants exhibited developmental delays. It should be noted that some of the participants in this study had handicaps in addition to their UHL which could have biased the results. Keeping this in mind, the results of this study might best be considered as case studies. However, the combined results suggest that more rigorous follow-up and early intervention may be necessary to prevent young children and infants with UHL from developing speech and language delays.


unilateral hearing loss, early intervention, language development, newborn hearing screenings, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

Subject Categories

Communication Sciences and Disorders


© Vanessa M. Luxen


Open Access