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Case Reports in Otolaryngology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 359218, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/359218
Case Report

A Case Study Assessing the Auditory and Speech Development of Four Children Implanted with Cochlear Implants by the Chronological Age of 12 Months

1Cochlea Implantat Centrum (CIC) Süd, Berner Strasse 16, 97084 Würzburg, Germany
2Audiology and Phoniatrics, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Head and Neck Surgery, Comprehensive Hearing Center (CHC), University of Würzburg, Josef-Schneider Straße 11, 97080 Würzburg, Germany

Received 5 December 2012; Accepted 25 December 2012

Academic Editors: Y. Baba, D. G. Balatsouras, G. Paludetti, and H. Sudhoff

Copyright © 2013 Birgit May-Mederake and Wafaa Shehata-Dieler. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Children with severe hearing loss most likely receive the greatest benefit from a cochlear implant (CI) when implanted at less than 2 years of age. Children with a hearing loss may also benefit greater from binaural sensory stimulation. Four children who received their first CI under 12 months of age were included in this study. Effects on auditory development were determined using the German LittlEARS Auditory Questionnaire, closed- and open-set monosyllabic word tests, aided free-field, the Mainzer and Göttinger speech discrimination tests, Monosyllabic-Trochee-Polysyllabic (MTP), and Listening Progress Profile (LiP). Speech production and grammar development were evaluated using a German language speech development test (SETK), reception of grammar test (TROG-D) and active vocabulary test (AWST-R). The data showed that children implanted under 12 months of age reached open-set monosyllabic word discrimination at an age of 24 months. LiP results improved over time, and children recognized 100% of words in the MTP test after 12 months. All children performed as well as or better than their hearing peers in speech production and grammar development. SETK showed that the speech development of these children was in general age appropriate. The data suggests that early hearing loss intervention benefits speech and language development and supports the trend towards early cochlear implantation. Furthermore, the data emphasizes the potential benefits associated with bilateral implantation.