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ERIC Number: ED488888
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-May-18
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Otitis Media in Young Children with Disabilities--Practical Strategies. FPG Snapshot #16
FPG Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina
Studies have shown that some children are at higher risk for otitis media. Those at risk may include children with some developmental disorders such as Down syndrome, Williams syndrome, Apert syndrome, fragile X syndrome, Turner syndrome, cleft palate, and autism; as well as all children attending childcare. It has been hypothesized that the link between OME and speech and language development is related to the fluctuating hearing loss that accompanies OME. Children with OME typically have a mild to moderate conductive hearing loss. The hearing loss would be about equivalent to putting your hands over your ears. A child who does not hear well may be less interactive and responsive and this could possibly affect the child's interactions with caregivers, and decreasing opportunities for language development. This link, however, is controversial, with some studies finding a relationship between OME and language development and other studies not finding this link. A pilot study of 14 children with special needs attending a university-based inclusive childcare program examined OME incidence over 7 months. Pilot data show that children with disabilities have patterns of OME similar to those of typically developing children, with an increased burden at younger ages and resolution at about 24-30 months. This makes OME an important issue in planning early intervention for young children with disabilities. While it is unclear whether chronic OME leads to language problems, OME may present an increased risk to speech and language development for children with developmental disabilities. At least one researcher has suggested that aggressive treatment with ventilation tubes may be prudent. Further studies are needed to examine this issue. This "Snapshot" includes a number of practical suggestions for interventionists and families. [This "Snapshot" is based on "Otitis Media in Young Children With Disabilities" by Susan Zeisel and Joanne Roberts of the FPG Child Development Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill. It was published in Infants and Young Children, 2003, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 106-119. "Snapshots" are summaries of research articles, books and other publications by researchers at the FPG Child Development Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill.]
FPG Publications Office, FPG Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB# 8185, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8185. Tel: 919-966-0857; e-mail:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: DLK 12-29-05
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A