OBJECTIVES: To study the impact of (re)habilitation strategy on speech-language outcomes for early, cochlear implanted children enrolled in different intervention programmes post implant.
METHODS: Data relate to a total of 130 children representing two pediatric cohorts consisting of 94 and 36 subjects, respectively. The two cohorts had different speech and language intervention following cochlear implantation, i.e. standard habilitation vs. auditory verbal (AV) intervention. Three tests of speech and language were applied covering language areas of receptive and productive vocabulary and language understanding.
RESULTS: Children in AV intervention outperformed children in standard habilitation on all three tests of speech and language. When effect of intervention was adjusted with other covariates children in AV intervention still had higher odds at performing at age equivalent speech and language levels.
CONCLUSION: Compared to standard intervention, AV intervention is associated with improved outcome for children with CI. Based on this finding, we recommend that all children with HI should be offered this intervention and it is, therefore, highly relevant when National boards of Health and Social Affairs recommend basing the habilitation on principles from AV practice. It should be noted, that a minority of children use spoken language with sign support. For this group it is, however, still important that educational services provide auditory skills training.
- Journal Article