Research  |   May 2008
Expected Test Scores for Preschoolers With a Cochlear Implant Who Use Spoken Language
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Johanna G. Nicholas
    Washington University, St. Louis, MO
  • Ann E. Geers
    University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and University of Texas at Dallas
  • Contact author: Johanna G. Nicholas, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Box 8115, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 S. Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110. E-mail: nicholasj@ent.wustl.edu.
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Language Disorders
Research   |   May 2008
Expected Test Scores for Preschoolers With a Cochlear Implant Who Use Spoken Language
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2008, Vol. 17, 121-138. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2008/013)
History: Received October 9, 2006 , Revised April 19, 2007 , Accepted August 22, 2007
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2008, Vol. 17, 121-138. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2008/013)
History: Received October 9, 2006; Revised April 19, 2007; Accepted August 22, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 23

Purpose: The major purpose of this study was to provide information about expected spoken language skills of preschool-age children who are deaf and who use a cochlear implant. A goal was to provide “benchmarks” against which those skills could be compared, for a given age at implantation. We also examined whether parent-completed checklists of children’s language were correlated with results of standardized language tests and whether scores increased linearly with decreasing age of implantation and increasing duration of cochlear implant use.

Method: Participants were a nationwide sample of 76 children who were deaf and orally educated and who received an implant by 38 months of age. Formal language tests were administered at age 4.5 years. The MacArthur–Bates Communicative Development Inventories (CDI) instrument was completed by parents when children were ages 3.5 and 4.5 years.

Results: Based on regression analyses, expected scores for each age at implant were provided for 2 commonly administered language tests at 4.5 years of age and CDI subscale scores at 3.5 and 4.5 years. Concurrent test scores were significantly correlated on all measures. A linear relation was found that predicted increasing test scores with younger ages at implantation for all scales administered.

Conclusions: While the expected scores reported here should not be considered as normative data, they are benchmarks that may be useful for evaluating spoken language progress of children with cochlear implants who are enrolled in spoken language–based programs.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by Grant R01-DC004168 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Special thanks to Sarah Fessenden, Melissa Truesdell, Sallie Shiel van der Hoof, and Chris Brenner for assistance with testing and data management and to Michael Strube for statistical expertise. We also thank the families, schools, audiologists, and therapy centers across the country that participated in, or facilitated participation in, this study.
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