Video Analysis: A Method of Assessing Changes in Preverbal and Early Linguistic Communication After Cochlear Implantation

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As the age of cochlear implantation in children decreases, there is an increasing need for methods to monitor the preverbal and early linguistic development of children fitted with these devices. One method that has been used successfully to monitor children wearing acoustic amplifying hearing aids entails the video recording over time of child-adult interactions in a conversational setting, and the subsequent methodical analysis of various aspects of the interaction. These aspects include eye contact, turn taking, autonomy, and auditory processing. The same method has been applied to children wearing the Nucleus 22dectrode cochlear implant system. An overview is given of the video analysis results for a group of 10 children studied from a period before implantation up to one year postimplantation. The results illustrate group changes in the various measures due to the provision of auditory information by the cochlear implant, plus the scatter of individual data. It is concluded that early indications of progress over time generally predict the level of functioning achieved at 12 months postimplantation. The method provides essential objective information, which enables discrete changes in behavior to be monitored realistically. Two case studies are presented to illustrate the application of the video analysis method to obtain information for clinical management of children with cochlear implants.

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