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Pre-linguistic social communication skills and post implant language outcomes in deaf children with cochlear implants

Hardman, G., Kyle, F. E. ORCID: 0000-0003-2997-3167, Herman, R. ORCID: 0000-0001-5732-9999 & Morgan, G. ORCID: 0000-0002-9495-1274 (2022). Pre-linguistic social communication skills and post implant language outcomes in deaf children with cochlear implants. Journal of Communication Disorders, 100, 106275. doi: 10.1016/j.jcomdis.2022.106275


This study investigates the relationship between pre-linguistic social communication skills and age of cochlear implant for future language outcomes in a large sample of deaf children.

A retrospective cohort study of records from 75 children. Pre-implant data included Age at Implant, pre-linguistic communication (social, symbolic and speech) skills, and non-verbal ability. Receptive and expressive language development data at 1 year, 2 years and 4 years post implant were analysed to investigate the relationships between pre-implant factors and language outcomes, in particular pre-linguistic social communication skills in early and late implanted children.

Age at Implant was the strongest correlate of post implant expressive and receptive language outcomes. The sample was divided into early implanted (<18 month) and late implanted (>18 months) children. In the early implanted group, pre-linguistic social communication skills were the strongest pre-implant correlate of language outcomes four years post-implant. In the late implanted group, there were no significant pre-implant correlates of language outcomes.

Long term language outcomes after cochlear implantation are the product of a set of communicative, cognitive and environmental factors. Early pre-implant social communication skills are an important consideration for clinicians who guide parents as to likely long-term outcomes post cochlear implantation. Social communication skills are particularly important for children who receive implants before the age of 18 months.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is available under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND license and permits non-commercial use of the work as published, without adaptation or alteration provided the work is fully attributed.
Publisher Keywords: Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Cochlear Implants, Language development, Social skills
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
P Language and Literature
R Medicine > RF Otorhinolaryngology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Language & Communication Science
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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