2023 Early Hearing Detection & Intervention Conference

March 5-7, 2023 • Cincinnati, OH


3/14/2022  |   9:30 AM - 9:55 AM   |  Words that Count! Coaching Families Through Book Sharing   |  Room 4

Words that Count! Coaching Families Through Book Sharing

Research indicates that during the critical window for language acquisition (birth to age three), parents of children with hearing loss should provide frequent adult language models in the context of conversational exchanges to optimize communication development; these “building blocks” are directly correlated with future academic success. However, early communication experiences vary widely from home to home due to many factors – while some children hear 15,000+ words per day, others hear 5,000 or fewer. How can Early Intervention providers help to close this “word gap?” While speaking 15,000 words each day may seem daunting for busy families, the practitioners that guide them have a time-tested strategy to consistently provide more language input – book sharing! During this routine, adults can model many high quality words within a short period of time. Results of a new study found that early storybook reading improved parent-child eye contact and parent-child turn taking (Brown, et al., 2019). This presentation will provide participants with educational materials to share with families regarding the importance of establishing a book sharing routine, as well as research-based, language-focused strategies to approach and coach them to “close the [word] gap” effectively. As each clinician’s caseload presents diverse family dynamics, parent education levels, and cultural aspects to consider when developing treatment plans, the importance of individualized support will be highlighted. Participants will also be provided with take-away ideas and activities to enhance their work with children with hearing loss and language delays – birth to three and beyond.

  • At the culmination of the session, the participant will be able to identify an early learning skill that relates to later literacy.
  • At the culmination of the session, the participant will be able to demonstrate a research-based, language-focused strategy using a children’s book.
  • At the culmination of the session, the participant will be able to generate activities using books in the classroom, daycare setting, or home.



CART transcripts are NOT YET available, but will be posted shortly after the conference


Kayley Mayer (Virtual), Sound Start Babies Program, kayley.mayer@soundstartbabiesprogram.org;
Kayley Mayer, M.A.T., TOD, graduated from The College of New Jersey with a B.A. in Psychology/M.A. in Teaching. She is currently the Program Coordinator and Teacher of the Deaf at the Sound Start Babies Program, providing center-based and telehealth early intervention services and initial evaluations for children with hearing loss and their families.


Financial -
• Receives Salary for Employment from Sound Start Babies Program.

Nonfinancial -
No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.

Alana D'Alessandro (), Sound Start Babies Program, alana.dalessandro@soundstartbabiesprogram.org;
Alana D'Alessandro, M.A., CCC-SLP, holds a B.S. in CSD from New York University, and an M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology from Montclair State University. She is a speech-language pathologist with Sound Start Babies, a program that provides telehealth, home- and center-based early intervention services for children with hearing loss and their families.


Financial -

Nonfinancial -