Understanding the Impact of Child, Intervention, and Family Factors on Developmental Trajectories of Children with Hearing Loss at Preschool Age: Design of the AChild Study
Sprache des Titels:
Children with hearing loss and their families represent a large variety with regard to their auditory, medical, psychological, and family resource characteristics. Despite recent advances, developmental outcomes are still below average, with a significant proportion of variety remaining unexplained. Furthermore, there is a lack of studies including the whole diversity of children with hearing loss. The AChild study (Austrian Children with Hearing Impairment?Longitudinal Databank) uses an epidemiological longitudinal design including all children living in Upper and Lower Austria with a permanent uni- or bilateral hearing loss below the age of 6 years, irrespective of additional disabilities, family language, and family resources. The demographic characteristics of the first 126 children enrolled in the study showed that about half of the children are either children with additional disabilities (31%) and/or children not growing up with the majority language (31.7%) that are usually excluded from comprehensive longitudinal studies. AChild aims for a characterization of the total population of young children with hearing loss including developmental outcomes. Another goal is the identification of early predictors of developmental trajectories and family outcomes. In addition to child-related predictors the examination of family?child transactions malleable by family-centred early intervention is of particular interest. The study is designed as participatory including parent representation atall stages. Measures have been chosen, following other large population-based studies in order to gain comparability and to ensure international data pooling.