Clues to help cancer survivors with hearing loss ace reading

Memphis, Tennessee, May 2, 2019

Heather Conklin, Ph.D., and Traci Olivier, Psy.D.

Study authors Heather Conklin, Ph.D., and Traci Olivier, Psy.D., analyzed brain tumor survivors and suggested that survivors with severe hearing loss struggled the most with slowed processing speed and phonological skills.

Reading is vital for learning. But little is known about how hearing loss affects reading skills among children treated for cancer.

Brain tumors and their treatment can cause hearing loss. Survivors are also at risk for problems with learning and schoolwork. The risk is greatest for those who are younger and who had more intensive treatment. Healthy children with hearing loss sometimes have similar learning problems.

St. Jude scientists identified skills that contribute to reading problems in brain tumor survivors with severe hearing loss. The results offer hope for kids with these issues.

“The findings suggest that children with severe hearing loss may benefit from personalized reading interventions that focus on skills that lay the foundation for reading,” said Heather Conklin, PhD, of the St. Jude Department of Psychology.

The Journal of Clinical Oncology published a report on this research.

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