Helping children with hearing loss.

The Child’s Voice School Program is partnering with Northwestern University’s Early Intervention Research Group (EIRG). This collaboration will improve treatment and intervention methods for children with hearing loss.

Northwestern University’s Early Intervention Research Group’s overall mission is to support and enhance development of infants, toddlers, and children. Child’s Voice has worked with the team from Northwestern University’s EIRG for multiple years by recruiting students and families to participate in two clinical trials dedicated to children with hearing loss. Both of these trials have been supported by federal funds.

“Collaboration is a key to what we do at Child’s Voice,” stated Principal Wendy Adler. “Working with students, partnerships with families, and efforts like these with Northwestern and the EIRG are crucial to building research and resources for our students today and in future years.”

A past partnership worked with children ages 6 – 30 months old and provided in-home parent coaching, where a therapist shared a variety of language strategies with parents to use with their child. Results from this study showed that children whose parents learned to use communication stimulation strategies (for example, holding up two different snack options and waiting for their child to respond) had better pre-linguistic skills (like pointing, eye contact, and gesturing) than children in the control group.

The current clinical trial is taking place on-site at Child’s Voice with 5 – 7 year old children, which includes all children in the School Program Primary II section. Children complete a computer-based program that addresses various academic skills. The goal of the project to determine if the computer programs used enhance early literacy skills, like reading and writing. This is a 4-year collaboration between Child’s Voice and Northwestern University’s EIRG team from 2017-2020.

“This study is already in its second year of recruitment and the EIRG staff has truly enjoyed working with the Child’s Voice staff and their wonderful kiddos,” shared Laura Sudec, MSW, Clinical Research Project Manager and Megan Roberts, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders.