Family Workshop

Strengthening Executive Function in Deaf / Hard of Hearing Children: As Easy as Child’s Play?

Have you ever stopped yourself from saying something you knew that you’d regret?  Have you tried to figure out what order to do your errands in so that you waste as little time (and gas) as possible?  Have you searched through a pile of children’s shoes looking for the one pair that your toddler will tolerate?  If so, congratulations – you’ve put your “executive function” skills to work!  Executive Function (EF) is what psychologists call a group of mental abilities that people of all ages use to help us achieve our goals (short-term or long-term).  Although these skills don’t peak until early adulthood, they start developing rapidly in toddlerhood and continue growing throughout the school-age years. Stronger EF skills in childhood are linked to a wide range of good outcomes later on in life. Unfortunately, research has also found that EF skills are often a vulnerable area in deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) children.  This presentation will bring you up to speed on current scientific debates about why DHH children may struggle with EF, and explain the powerful ways that play (yes, play!) can strengthen your child’s executive function.  You’ll learn how to analyze your child’s favorite activities to see how they may (not) be helping to improve their EF skills, and you’ll leave having learned a new game that the whole family can play at home, regardless of how you hear or communicate.

Presenter: Dr. Matthew L. Hall, Temple University

Date: Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Time: 7:00 – 8:30 PM

Where: Zoom Webinar

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Executive Function workshop recording

This workshop will be presented in spoken English with ASL interpretation. Interpretation in other languages or additional accommodations can be provided upon request. Please contact Lynette Mattiacci at to make these requests.

Presenter: Dr. Matthew L. Hall, Ph.D.

Dr. Hall (Ph.D. in Psychology, UC San Diego) is an Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders at Temple University, where he directs the First Language Foundations Lab: dedicated to maximizing the development potential of all DHH children through theoretical and applied research.  To that end, he applies knowledge from cognitive/developmental psychology and  linguistics to questions that concern DHH children. He is committed to increasing the quality of the empirical evidence so that families and the professionals who serve them can make better-informed decisions toward the shared goal of promoting the long-term and holistic well-being of DHH children.