Modelling the early expressive communicative trajectories of infants/toddlers with early cochlear implants

Edith L. Bavin*, Julia Sarant, Naomi J. Hackworth, Shannon K. Bennetts, Jay Buzhardt, Fan Jia, Elizabeth Button, Peter Busby, Greg Leigh, Candy Peterson

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    For children with normal hearing (NH), early communication skills predict vocabulary, a precursor to grammar. Growth in early communication skills of infants with cochlear implants (CIs) was investigated using the Early Communication Indicator (ECI), a play-based observation measure. Multilevel linear growth modelling on data from six ECI sessions held at three-monthly intervals revealed significant growth overall, with a non-significant slower growth rate than that of children with NH (comparison age centred at 18 months). Analyses of gesture use and of nonword vocalisations revealed the CI group used significantly more of each, with more rapid growth. In contrast, the CI group used significantly fewer single words and multiword utterances, and with slower growth. Maternal education and time to achieve consistent CI use impacted significantly on growth for the CI sample. The results indicate that progression to vocabulary by young CI users can be supported by encouraging their use of prelinguistic communication.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)796-816
    Number of pages21
    JournalJournal of Child Language
    Volume47
    Issue number4
    Early online date17 Mar 2020
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

    Keywords

    • cochlear implants
    • progressive early communicative development

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