A New Look at Deaf Children with Cochlear Implants: Outcomes in Reading and Writing
Historically profoundly deaf children left school functionally illiterate, evidencing poor outcomes in both reading and writing, with consequent negative impact on educational attainments. Government data continue to show deaf children lagging behind hearing peers.
Early cochlear implantation following newborn hearing screening provides profoundly/severely deaf children with the ability to hear spoken language across the entire frequency range for the first time, facilitating the development of age-appropriate speech and language in the majority. Children with cochlear implants, including those with additional needs, now have the opportunity to access sound, develop communication skills, and in the majority of cases to develop spoken language, and hence develop literacy skills. In order to fulfil this potential, it is necessary to establish the evidence base to determine the extent to which age-appropriate outcomes are being realized, and to identify the factors that enhance or limit literacy achievement in this population.
The research has been carried out and is currently being written up. A booklet has been produced, and can be downloaded here: The Ear Foundation - Language & Literacy Booklet
This study was supported by Ovingdean Hall & Advanced Bionics.
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