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Congenitally Deafblind Children and Cochlear Implants: Effects on Communication

Jesper Dammeyer
Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
Vol. 14, No. 2 (SPRING 2009), pp. 278-288
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42658988
Page Count: 11
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Congenitally Deafblind Children and Cochlear Implants: Effects on Communication
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Abstract

There has been much research conducted demonstrating the positive benefits of cochlear implantation (CI) in children who are deaf. Research on CI in children who are both deaf and blind, however, is lacking. The purpose of this article is to present a study of five congenitally deafblind children who received cochlear implants between 2.2 and 4.2 years of age. Ratings of video observations were used to measure the children's early communication development with and without the use of their cochlear implants. In addition, parental interviews were used to assess the benefits parents perceived regarding their children's cochlear implants. Two examples are included in this article to illustrate the parents' perspectives about CI in their deafblind children. Benefits of CI in this cohort of children included improved attention and emotional response as well as greater use of objects in interaction with adults. The best overall outcome of CI is not spoken language but better communication.

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