Depending upon findings which result from an assessment will determine the specific areas affecting a clients’ skill levels. Research indicates that children who were identified earlier will have less long term affects later in school performance for language, literacy, and communication skills. Because all communication disorders carry the potential to isolate individuals from their social and educational surroundings, it is essential to find appropriate timely intervention (NICHY, 2004). Several studies and literature reviews report early intervention provides superior results. Karnes and Lee noted that only through early identification and appropriate programming can a child develop to one’s potential (1978, p.1). With intervention at birth or soon after the diagnosis of a disability, developmental gains are greater and the likelihood of emergent problems is reduced (Cooper, 1981, Strain, Young, & Horowitz, 1981).
Another landmark study confirmed the value of early intervention. To determine whether early intervention for children with hearing loss made a difference in language development, Yoshinaga-Itano and colleagues from the University of Colorado compared the receptive and expressive language abilities in children with hearing impairment with those of children with no hearing loss. Study participants had hearing loss ranging from mild to profound. The study found that scores were significantly higher when the children were diagnosed and intervention started before 6 months of age. The results indicated that children whose hearing loss was identified between 0 to 6 months achieved higher language scores than those who were identified later.