Disproportionate Language Impairment in Children Using Cochlear Implants

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Abstract

Objectives:

To examine the nature of previously unexplained, severe language impairments in some children using a cochlear implant (CI).

Design:

Six prelingually deaf children with unexplained, “disproportionate” language problems (DLI group) were matched to Control children on etiology, age at implantation, and CI experience. All children completed a test battery used to identify specific language impairment in normally hearing children.

Results:

Despite equivalent performance IQ, significant differences were found between the DLI and Control children on all five language tests.

Conclusions:

Language difficulties experienced by some children using a CI seem to be additional to those produced by their deafness and may reflect the same, predominantly inherited basis as specific language impairment.

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