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The hypothesis proven scientifically

Dr. Dr. h.c. Monika Lehnhardt: here I wanted to present a short summary which I had found in the renowned journal “Otology & Neurotology”. It is another research proving the hypothesis that the provision with a CI before 12 months of age provides better results in expressive speech than implantation between 12 and 18 months.

Spoken Language Benefits of Extending Cochlear Implant Candidacy Below 12 Months of Age

Nicholas, Johanna G.; Geers, Ann E.


Objective: To test the hypothesis that cochlear implantation surgery before 12 months of age yields better spoken language results than surgery between 12 and 18 months of age.

Study Design: Language testing administered to children at 4.5 years of age (+/-2 mo).

Setting: Schools, speech-language therapy offices, and cochlear implant (CI) centers in the United States and Canada.

Participants: Sixty-nine children who received a cochlear implant between ages 6 and 18 months of age. All children were learning to communicate via listening and spoken language in English-speaking families.

Main Outcome Measure: Standard scores on receptive vocabulary, expressive, and receptive language (includes grammar).

Results: Children with CI surgery at 6 to 11 months (n = 27) achieved higher scores on all measures as compared with those with surgery at 12 to 18 months (n = 42). Regression analysis revealed a linear relationship between age of implantation and language outcomes throughout the 6- to 18-month surgery-age range.

Conclusion: For children in intervention programs emphasizing listening and spoken language, cochlear implantation before 12 months of age seems to provide a significant advantage for spoken language achievement observed at 4.5 years of age.

(C) 2013 Otology & Neurotology, Inc.

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