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  CUTTING EDGE OTOLARYNGOLOGY 2013 

Otorinolaringologia 2013 March;63(1):1-16

Copyright © 2013 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Cochlear implantation in children with additional diagnoses: current trends and outcomes

Beer J. 1, Frush Holt R. 1, 2, Harris M. 3

1 DeVault Otologic Research Laboratory, Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA; 2 Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA; 3 Department of Otolaryngology, Indiana University Medical Center Indianapolis, IN, USA


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More children than ever before who present with deafness and additional diagnoses including cognitive, sensory, and motor disabilities, behavioral and learning disabilities, and autism spectrum disorder are receiving cochlear implants. Moreover, an increasing number of implant centers around the world have active programs of research that include children with deafness and additional diagnoses, which has led to great progress in our understanding of this clinical population including: 1) identification of preimplant predictors of benefit; 2) identification of new domains of expected benefit outside spoken language; 3) a greater understanding of the amount of implant experience necessary before benefit is observed; 4) a greater understanding of the relations between etiology of hearing loss and post-implant outcomes; and 5) the development of novel research methodologies and assessment tools for measuring preimplant predictors and postimplant benefit. Overall, most children with deafness and additional diagnoses do make progress after cochlear implantation. Amount and rate of progress is related to the number and type of disabilities, children’s cognitive functioning, and day-to-day functional skills. Qualitative research assessments have documented benefit in quality of life, communication mode, attention, memory, and many other important domains of development across all diagnoses. Future directions for research and clinical practice include development of targeted and individualized habilitation and education programs by highly skilled individuals with multiple skill sets in curriculum development, audiology, speech and language development, developmental disabilities, and assessment.

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