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Social Competence, Sense of Loneliness, and Speech Intelligibility of Young Children With Hearing Loss in Individual Inclusion and Group Inclusion
post Wed Mar 14, 2012, 05:20 PM
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The study focused on social competence (SC) and perceived sense of loneliness of preschool children with hearing loss (HL) in group inclusion (GI, a small group of children with HL is integrated in a standard classroom) and individual inclusion (II, each child with HL is individually integrated into a standard classroom). The relations between these factors and the child's speech intelligibility were performed. Sixty-four children aged 4–7 years participated: 22 from an II and 42 from a GI. SC, perceived sense of loneliness, and speech intelligibility were evaluated through the use of questionnaires completed by the preschool teachers. The results showed that the SC of children in II was higher than the SC of the children in GI, while interacting with normal hearing (NH) children. In GI, the children's SC with other children with HL was higher compared with their SC with NH children. In both groups, there were relationships between speech intelligibility and SC with NH children. In addition, in the II setting, there were relationships between the speech intelligibility and the perceived sense of loneliness. These relationships were not found in the GI setting. The findings support the need for coenrollment of preschool children with HL and emphasize the crucial impact of speech intelligibility of children with HL on the success of their social enrollment with NH children, already at a young age.

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