Journal Article

Congenitally Deafblind Children and Cochlear Implants: Effects on Communication

Jesper Dammeyer

in The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education

Volume 14, issue 2, pages 278-288
Published in print January 2009 | ISSN: 1081-4159
Published online October 2008 | e-ISSN: 1465-7325 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/deafed/enn042
Congenitally Deafblind Children and Cochlear Implants: Effects on Communication

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There has been much research conducted demonstrating the positive benefits of cochlear implantation (CI) in children who are deaf. Research on CI in children who are both deaf and blind, however, is lacking. The purpose of this article is to present a study of five congenitally deafblind children who received cochlear implants between 2.2 and 4.2 years of age. Ratings of video observations were used to measure the children's early communication development with and without the use of their cochlear implants. In addition, parental interviews were used to assess the benefits parents perceived regarding their children's cochlear implants. Two examples are included in this article to illustrate the parents’ perspectives about CI in their deafblind children. Benefits of CI in this cohort of children included improved attention and emotional response as well as greater use of objects in interaction with adults. The best overall outcome of CI is not spoken language but better communication.

Journal Article.  5977 words. 

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

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