Journal Article

Motor Development of Deaf Children With and Without Cochlear Implants

Freja Gheysen, Gerrit Loots and Hilde Van Waelvelde

in The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education

Volume 13, issue 2, pages 215-224
Published in print January 2008 | ISSN: 1081-4159
Published online October 2007 | e-ISSN: 1465-7325 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/deafed/enm053
Motor Development of Deaf Children With and Without Cochlear Implants

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of a cochlear implant (CI) on the motor development of deaf children. The study involved 36 mainstreamed deaf children (15 boys, 21 girls; 4- to 12-years old) without any developmental problems. Of these children, 20 had been implanted. Forty-three hearing children constituted a comparison group. Motor development was assessed by three standardized tests: the Movement Assessment Battery for Children, the Körperkoordinationstest für Kinder, and the One-leg standing test. Results showed that the hearing children performed on average significantly better than the deaf children (whether or not using a CI). Regarding the use of a CI, there was only a significant difference on one subtest between both groups, although there was a nonsignificant trend for the deaf +CI group to score somewhat worse on average than the deaf –CI group. This led to some significant differences between the hearing group and the deaf +CI group on measures requiring balance that did not hold for the hearing/deaf –CI comparison. Although this study could demonstrate neither a positive nor a negative impact of CI on balance and motor skills, the data raise the need for further, preferably longitudinal, research.

Journal Article.  5349 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Education ; Linguistics ; Teaching of Specific Groups and Special Educational Needs

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