Development in Children with Cochlear Implants

Introduction

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Cochlear implants play an important role in the development of children, who suffer from hearing loss or even deafness. The problem is under discussion, and it is worthy of investigation because a great number of children all over the world are used to wear cochlear implants. That is why it is necessary to examine all aspects and facts, having an influence on such childrens development. Hence, the purpose of this article is to analyze the factors, which influence on the development of children with cochlear implants, also, taking into account their environment.

Statement of The Research Question

It is very important to admit that there are a lot of scientific researches, which express the ideas concerning such a problem. Some of them analyze the process of studying and speaking of languages by children with cochlear implants. The definite methods of acquisition of English language are in works of Niparko, Peterson, Pisoni, Miyamoto, Stacey, Fortnum, Barton, Summerfield, Svirsky, Teoh and Neuburger. Such scientists as Duchesne, Sutton, Bergeron, Le Normand, Ouellet and Cohen examine the problem of speaking and understanding French language. Processes of studying how to communicate in German, Dutch and Swedish languages are in the scientific researches of Szagun, Giezen, Gillis, Schauwers, Govaerts, Willstedt-Svensson, Lofqvist, Almqvist and Sahlen. In addition, there are many works, which investigate the attendant factors, concerning development of children with cochlear implants. They describe the role of parents education, identify the age of a child, when it is better to use such implants, investigate the period of pre-implant hearing, and determine the favorable and appropriate mode of communication and duration term of implants usage. However, in spite of the great number of scientific researchers, concerning the problem of childrens development, suffering from hearing loss and deafness, there is no any work, which includes the complete information of development in children with cochlear implants.

The Statement of Hypothesis

It is based on the assumption of Gisela Szaguna and Barbara Stumperc that in children implanted within the sensitive period for language learning, childrens home language environment contributes more crucially to their linguistic progress than does age at implantation. Thus, it means that the main role in the development of children with cochlear implants play care of their relatives and close people, as well as a comfortable atmosphere, which should be around them. It concerns even the factor of speaking and understanding of a language. However, in order to achieve the best results in the development in children with cochlear implants, it is better to combine the friendly environment and the age at implantation.

Identification of Research Methods

25 children with cochlear implants and their parents took part in this scientific research. The definite age at implantation started from 6 months and finished at 42 months. There were three groups of children: the first one consisted of the children implanted at the age from 6 to 11 months; the second group included children, who were implanted between the age of 12 and 23 months, and the members of the last group were children at the age of 24 to 42 months.

After 12, 18, 24 and 30 months of implantation, there was a linguistic progress in spite of age at implantation. The questionnaire of parents and spontaneous speech samples, which lasted 45 minutes, showed the level of the acquisition of spoken language. Such a test includes the criteria, as the number of words, morphological factor, and sentence complexity. Furthermore, there is an analysis of childrens language and parents child-directed one in this work.

According to the analysis of the words number in the results of the first group, it increased in the post-implantation period between 12 and 18 months, and as for the second group, there was a progress in the period from 12 to 18 months, and from 18 to 24 months. The results of the third group of participants were worse.

The level of grammar skills of children with cochlear implants included such points as spontaneous speech data, inflectional morphology, and sentence complexity. In order to analyze it, there was a questionnaire for parents, which expressed the definite results. According to such results, the first group of children increased their level of grammar from 18 to 24 months, and from 24 to 30 months; the middle group made a progress between 18 and 24 months, and the third group was at the same level with the second group, concerning the sentence complexity, but as for the rest of grammar criteria, it was the worst one.

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Results

According to the lexical and grammatical level of children with cochlear implants, it is necessary to note that it increases all the time. However, the children, who were implanted by the age of 24 months, developed faster. Children implanted at the age of 25 months and older did not make such a remarkable progress. Overall, children who received cochlear implants in the first and second year of life had the most marked language growth early on, whereas children, who received cochlear implants thereafter, displayed the most marked language growth somewhat later (Szagun et al., 2012).

One more factor, which influenced on the development in children with cochlear implants, was the maternal level of education. The high level of maternal education supported such childrens development and, that is why, this factor succeeded in studying and understanding languages by these children. Moreover, according to the results of the investigation, it is important to admit that the high maternal education places the privilege position towards the linguistic progress of children with cochlear implants, but not the age at implantation. Indeed, parental IQ and parents educational level explain a considerably larger proportion of the variance in receptive and productive language than does age at implantation (Szagun et al., 2012).

However, the ideal conditions for development in children with cochlear implants are the appropriate age of implantation, which varies between 6 to 24 months, and the high level of maternal education. What is more, the additional factors, such as friendly atmosphere, desire to study, convenient and comfortable environment, and others attendant criteria only increase the level of development in children, suffering from hearing loss and deafness.

Analysis of Study

Development in Children with Cochlear Implants is one of the most important scientific researches. According to the results of this work, it is obvious that there are two main factors, which influence on the level of the development of children suffering from hearing loss and deafness. The first one is the appropriate period of time for implantation, and the second is the care, attention, and help of parents and relatives. The given research pointed out the main factors, having an influence on the development of children with cochlear implants. That is why it is worthy of studying.

Conclusion

To draw the conclusion, it is necessary to admit that according to the results of the scientific research, the most important factor for development of children with cochlear implants, is the maternal support. In order to give such a support with high quality, parents have to possess the high level of education. Also, it is very important to take into account the age at implantation. The most favorable period for such a procedure is from 6 to 24 months. The mentioned period of time is sensitive for language perception. During this term, children achieve the best results in studying of grammar and learning of new words. After 24 months, children cannot have the best results, concerning the last criteria, although the level of knowledge of morphology and sentence complexity is quite the same, as the children achieve at the age between 6 and 24 months. Therefore, the perfect factors for the appropriate development of children suffering from hearing loss and deafness, who are used to wear cochlear implants, are high maternal education and the period of implantation from 6 to 24 months.

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