My work has focused on early vocalization/ speech emergence throughout my career. The majority of my work has been conducted with children who are deaf or hard of hearing, and has investigated the impact of audibility on early vocalization development. Beginning with my dissertation, and early work, I studied the impact of differing degrees of audibility on early vocalization development taking into account different treatments phases. These investigations included detailed coding of vocalization type (i.e., pre-canonical, canonical, word), and acoustic analysis to determine the onset of canonical babble (a milestone marker in vocal development) as well as detailing the development and rate of speech-like vocalizations leading to first word production. My work was one of the first analyses that detailed the influence of degree of audibility (measured audiologically through real ear measures), and onset of canonical babble (Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 15(3), 287-310. PMID: 20457674 PMCID: PMC2912640).
Dr. Bass-Ringdahl has 20 years of experience conducting research in the area of early vocalization development in populations of children who are at risk for delayed development. During that time she served as an investigator for a 10-year period on two, continuous grants funded by the National Institutes of Health-National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders (NIH-NIDCD, Iowa Cochlear Implant Clinical Research Center IV and V) where her work focused on the development of canonical babble in children with hearing impairment. From 2008-2011, she served as an investigator on a third grant funded by NIH-NIDCD, Moderators and Functional Outcomes in Children with Mild to Severe Hearing Loss (OCHL). She was involved in the protocol development for the early speech and audiology portions, and co-developed an assessment of early vocalization development (Moeller, M.P., Bass-Ringdahl, S., Ambrose, S.E., VanDam, M. & Tomblin, J.B., 2011). Dr. Bass-Ringdahl continues her study of early vocaliztion development at UGA, and has expanded her research into populations of children with ASD and developmental delay.