Early literacy gains in children with cochlear implants.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the predictors of emergent reading skills in children receiving early access to sound with a CI. STUDY DESIGN: Prospective case-control study. SETTING: Tertiary referral center. PATIENTS: Children who received their first cochlear implant (CI) before 24 months of age and had a minimum of 2 years experience. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Receptive language skills as measured using the Reynell Developmental Language Scales or the Oral and Written Language Scales; early reading skills including alphabet, conventions, and comprehension skills assessed using the Test of Early Reading Abilities-3 (TERA-3); literacy behaviors in the home, socioeconomic status, and early intervention measures were explored on a parent questionnaire. RESULTS: Among 39 participants in the study, there was on average a 12-month delay in receptive language as compared with hearing peers. The study cohort as a group had age-appropriate reading scores. An inverse correlation was found between language delay and early reading performance. While accounting for language delay, girls on average performed better than boys. Daily reading at home and the use of open-ended questions during parent-child reading sessions were both associated with smaller language delays. CONCLUSION: The importance of verbal language to the development of early reading skills and vice versa is evident as is the important influence of literacy behaviors at home. Children with CIs can greatly benefit from intervention services that promote frequent exposure to books at home as well as the use of facilitative strategies during shared reading.
Ceh, KM; Bervinchak, DM; Francis, HW
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