Children with cochlear implants perform like normal hearing children

Hearing impaired children with cochlear implants produce academic results on a par with normal hearing children.

It is a common perception that the performance of hearing impaired children in school suffers because of their hearing loss. Two studies indicate that this does not apply to children whose hearing loss is treated with cochlear implants.

A British team of researchers examined three groups of children between the ages of 2 and 7 years: 25 children with cochlear implants, 13 hearing impaired children without cochlear implants and 18 normal hearing children.

Comparisons were made between the three groups with respect to their cognitive abilities, such as their ability to see patterns, classify and stay focused.

Testing provided a comprehensive picture of the children's IQ. The children with cochlear implants achieved roughly the same average score as the normal hearing children, 112.7 and 114.4, respectively. The hearing impaired children without cochlear implants scored an average of 103.3.

The other study was carried out by three American scientists. They tested the educational achievement of 17 16 year-olds with cochlear implants. The participants underwent testing in text comprehension, dictation, sciences and sociology. The average score was 103.88, slightly higher than the average score of 100 among normal hearing children.

Sources: Outcomes and Achievement of Students Who Grew Up with Access to Cochlear Implants, September 2004, and The Cognition and Behaviour of Children with Cochlear Implants, Children with Hearing Aids and Their Hearing Peers: A Comparison, January 2005.

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