To analyse the benefit of cochlear implantation in young deaf children with Waardenburg syndrome (WS) compared to a reference group of young deaf children without additional disabilities.Method:
A retrospective study was conducted on children with WS who underwent cochlear implantation at the age of 2 years or younger. The post-operative results for speech perception (phonetically balanced standard Dutch consonant-vocal-consonant word lists) and language comprehension (the Reynell Developmental Language Scales, RDLS), expressed as a language quotient (LQ), were compared between the WS group and the reference group by using multiple linear regression analysis.Results:
A total of 14 children were diagnosed with WS, and 6 of them had additional disabilities. The WS children were implanted at a mean age of 1.6 years and the 48 children of the reference group at a mean age of 1.3 years. The WS children had a mean phoneme score of 80% and a mean LQ of 0.74 at 3 years post-implantation, and these results were comparable to those of the reference group. Only the factor additional disabilities had a significant negative influence on auditory perception and language comprehension.Conclusions:
Children with WS performed similarly to the reference group in the present study, and these outcomes are in line with the previous literature. Although good counselling about additional disabilities concomitant to the syndrome is relevant, cochlear implantation is a good rehabilitation method for children with WS.