Persistent Language Delay Versus Late Language Emergence in Children With Early Cochlear Implantation Purpose The purpose of the present investigation is to differentiate children using cochlear implants (CIs) who did or did not achieve age-appropriate language scores by midelementary grades and to identify risk factors for persistent language delay following early cochlear implantation. Materials and Method Children receiving unilateral CIs at ... Research Forum
Research Forum  |   February 01, 2016
Persistent Language Delay Versus Late Language Emergence in Children With Early Cochlear Implantation
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ann E. Geers
    Callier Center for Advanced Hearing Research and the Southwestern Medical Center, The University of Texas at Dallas
  • Johanna Nicholas
    Washington University in Saint Louis, MO
  • Emily Tobey
    Callier Center for Advanced Hearing Research and the Southwestern Medical Center, The University of Texas at Dallas
  • Lisa Davidson
    Washington University in Saint Louis, MO
  • 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 Ann E. Geers: ageers@utdallas.edu
  • Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray
    Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray×
  • Associate Editor: Mabel Rice
    Associate Editor: Mabel Rice×
Article Information
Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Special Populations / School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Research Forum: SLI, ADHD, ASD, CI, Bilingualism, and Bidialectism
Research Forum   |   February 01, 2016
Persistent Language Delay Versus Late Language Emergence in Children With Early Cochlear Implantation
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2016, Vol. 59, 155-170. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-H-14-0173
History: Received September 3, 2014 , Revised February 2, 2015 , Accepted March 2, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2016, Vol. 59, 155-170. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-H-14-0173
History: Received September 3, 2014; Revised February 2, 2015; Accepted March 2, 2015

Purpose The purpose of the present investigation is to differentiate children using cochlear implants (CIs) who did or did not achieve age-appropriate language scores by midelementary grades and to identify risk factors for persistent language delay following early cochlear implantation.

Materials and Method Children receiving unilateral CIs at young ages (12–38 months) were tested longitudinally and classified with normal language emergence (n = 19), late language emergence (n = 22), or persistent language delay (n = 19) on the basis of their test scores at 4.5 and 10.5 years of age. Relative effects of demographic, audiological, linguistic, and academic characteristics on language emergence were determined.

Results Age at CI was associated with normal language emergence but did not differentiate late emergence from persistent delay. Children with persistent delay were more likely to use left-ear implants and older speech processor technology. They experienced higher aided thresholds and lower speech perception scores. Persistent delay was foreshadowed by low morphosyntactic and phonological diversity in preschool. Logistic regression analysis predicted normal language emergence with 84% accuracy and persistent language delay with 74% accuracy.

Conclusion CI characteristics had a strong effect on persistent versus resolving language delay, suggesting that right-ear (or bilateral) devices, technology upgrades, and improved audibility may positively influence long-term language outcomes.

Acknowledgments
This work was funded by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R01DC004168 (Nicholas, PI). Special thanks to Michael Strube, Department of Psychology, Washington University, for aid in statistical analysis and interpretation; Christine Brenner for data preparation and analysis; Sarah Fessenden and Julia Biedenstein for help with data collection and research camp coordination; and to all of the families and programs that participated in this project.
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