Two Directions, One Goal Krystal Werfel works with a young patient with hearing loss to treat linguistic and literacy deficits. Complementing the focus on audiology in this issue of the Leader, the ASHFoundation features the work of three-time ASHFoundation award recipient Krystal Werfel. Krystal Werfel is going in two directions. And, lest you think ... ASHA News
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ASHA News  |   July 01, 2014
Two Directions, One Goal
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Development / Hearing Disorders / Professional Issues & Training / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   July 01, 2014
Two Directions, One Goal
The ASHA Leader, July 2014, Vol. 19, 64. doi:10.1044/leader.AN11.19072014.64
The ASHA Leader, July 2014, Vol. 19, 64. doi:10.1044/leader.AN11.19072014.64
Krystal Werfel works with a young patient with hearing loss to treat linguistic and literacy deficits.

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Complementing the focus on audiology in this issue of the Leader, the ASHFoundation features the work of three-time ASHFoundation award recipient Krystal Werfel.
Krystal Werfel is going in two directions. And, lest you think otherwise, that’s a very good thing.
One of those directions involves preschool children with hearing loss. She is studying how pre-linguistic hearing loss affects acquisition of emergent literacy skills and how best to treat observed deficits. “We’ve recently discovered that children with hearing loss have deficits in conceptual print knowledge, which previously was thought to be a strength for this population,” she says. “Now we’re investigating how we can scaffold conceptual print knowledge for children with hearing loss.”
The second direction focuses on children in grades two to six with language impairments. She is merging research on spelling acquisition in children with primary linguistic deficits with research on children with hearing loss, a group that frequently has secondary language impairments. “What can the comparison of the two groups tell us about how linguistic knowledge really affects the way we learn?” she says. “And how do sensory deficits interact with linguistic deficits to affect learning?”
Three ASHFoundation awards have helped advance Werfel’s work. A 2009 Early Childhood Language Student Research Grant funded a pre-dissertation study of phonemic awareness training in preschool children with hearing loss. Werfel, an assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders at the University of South Carolina since August, is now expanding this work to a more large-scale study.
Her second ASHFoundation award, a 2010 New Century Scholars Doctoral Scholarship, supported part of the pilot work for her dissertation, completed under the direction of Melanie Schuele at Vanderbilt University. And her third award, a 2013 New Investigators Research Grant, supports her current study of contributions of phonological processing to reading and spelling in school-age children with cochlear implants.
“To advance science is exactly the work of the ASHFoundation,” Werfel says, “so I encourage researchers to apply for funding. Especially for students, this is a great opportunity to learn how to write a grant and to get helpful feedback. Larger granting agencies don’t give you the supportive environment or the personal attention that the ASHFoundation offers.”

Convention Raffle Ends Aug. 1

Ticket sales for the ASHFoundation’s “Orlando Convention VIP Raffle” end Aug. 1. The VIP package, valued at more than $2,500, includes convention registration, a hotel suite, dinner for two and more.

Raffle proceeds support scholarships and research grants. Tickets—$10 each or three for $25—are available from the ASHFoundation, 301-296-8704.

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July 2014
Volume 19, Issue 7