Academic Outcomes for School-Aged Children With Severe–Profound Hearing Loss and Early Unilateral and Bilateral Cochlear Implants Purpose This study sought to (a) determine whether academic outcomes for children who received early cochlear implants (CIs) are age appropriate, (b) determine whether bilateral CI use significantly improves academic outcomes, and (c) identify other factors that are predictive of these outcomes. Method Forty-four 8-year-old children with severe–profound ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2015
Academic Outcomes for School-Aged Children With Severe–Profound Hearing Loss and Early Unilateral and Bilateral Cochlear Implants
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Julia Z. Sarant
    University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • David C. Harris
    Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Lisa A. Bennet
    University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Julia Z. Sarant: jsarant@unimelb.edu.au
  • Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray
    Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray×
  • Associate Editor: Amy Lederberg
    Associate Editor: Amy Lederberg×
Article Information
Development / Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Professional Issues & Training / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2015
Academic Outcomes for School-Aged Children With Severe–Profound Hearing Loss and Early Unilateral and Bilateral Cochlear Implants
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2015, Vol. 58, 1017-1032. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-H-14-0075
History: Received March 4, 2014 , Revised August 13, 2014 , Accepted January 15, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2015, Vol. 58, 1017-1032. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-H-14-0075
History: Received March 4, 2014; Revised August 13, 2014; Accepted January 15, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose This study sought to (a) determine whether academic outcomes for children who received early cochlear implants (CIs) are age appropriate, (b) determine whether bilateral CI use significantly improves academic outcomes, and (c) identify other factors that are predictive of these outcomes.

Method Forty-four 8-year-old children with severe–profound hearing loss participated in this study. Their academic development in mathematics, oral language, reading, and written language was assessed using a standardized test of academic achievement.

Results (a) Across all academic areas, the proportion of children in the average or above-average ranges was lower than expected for children with normal hearing. The strongest area of performance was written language, and the weakest was mathematics. (b) Children using bilateral CIs achieved significantly higher scores for oral language, math, and written language, after controlling for predictive factors, than did children using unilateral CIs. Younger ages at second CI predicted the largest improvements. (c) High levels of parental involvement and greater time spent by children reading significantly predicted academic success, although other factors were identified.

Conclusions Average academic outcomes for these children were below those of children with normal hearing. Having bilateral CIs at younger ages predicted the best outcomes. Family environment was also important to children's academic performance.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by Australian Research Council Linkage Grant LP0989391 (awarded to Julia Z. Sarant, Karyn Galvin, Peter Blamey, and Peter Busby) and by Cochlear Ltd. We express our deep gratitude to the participating children and their families. We thank our collaborative partners—the Melbourne Cochlear Implant Clinic at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, the Shepherd Centre, Hear and Say, the Cora Barclay Centre, the Sydney Cochlear Implant Centre, the audiology department at the Adelaide Women's and Children's Hospital, and the Longitudinal Outcomes of Children With Hearing Impairment study—for sharing cognitive and language data for overlapping participants. We also thank Laura Sinclair and Jennifer Holland for their work on data collection.
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