Academic outcomes for school-aged children with severe-profound hearing loss and early unilateral and bilateral cochlear implants

Julia Z Sarant, David Harris, Lisa Bennet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study sought to (a) determine whether academic outcomes for children who received early cochlear implants (CIs) are age appropriate, (b) determine whether bilateral CI use significantly improves academic outcomes, and (c) identify other factors that are predictive of these outcomes. Method: Forty-four 8-year-old children with severe-profound hearing loss participated in this study. Their academic development in mathematics, oral language, reading, and written language was assessed using a standardized test of academic achievement. Results: (a) Across all academic areas, the proportion of children in the average or above-average ranges was lower than expected for children with normal hearing. The strongest area of performance was written language, and the weakest was mathematics. (b) Children using bilateral CIs achieved significantly higher scores for oral language, math, and written language, after controlling for predictive factors, than did children using unilateral CIs. Younger ages at second CI predicted the largest improvements. (c) High levels of parental involvement and greater time spent by children reading significantly predicted academic success, although other factors were identified. Conclusions: Average academic outcomes for these children were below those of children with normal hearing. Having bilateral CIs at younger ages predicted the best outcomes. Family environment was also important to children s academic performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1017 - 1032
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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